Players hail key appointment

Guy Whitttingham, right, has been quick to recognise how valuable new assistant manager Steve Allen, left, is to his Blues set-up Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whitttingham, right, has been quick to recognise how valuable new assistant manager Steve Allen, left, is to his Blues set-up Picture: Joe Pepler
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Steve Allen has been hailed as the perfect appointment as Guy Whittingham’s number two.

Pompey’s players have given the manager’s move to make Allen his number two their seal of approval.

Last month Whittingham took the unusual step of making his physio his assistant manager.

Despite, on the surface, it being an unorthodox move, Allen has long been a key figure in the Blues’ backroom team.

His contacts were a major factor in Pompey’s recruitment drive last season.

And that influence has continued since the season’s end, with 12 signings the product of a frenetic summer of transfer activity so far.

Captain Johnny Ertl lauded Allen’s promotion and believes the new number two’s knowledge of the lower leagues will prove invaluable next season, with Pompey now in League Two.

Ertl feels the marriage between Allen, nicknamed Wiggy, and Pompey has grown stronger in his time at Fratton Park.

He said: ‘Wiggy (Allen) is now in a really good position.

‘He’s perfect for the position of Guy’s assistant. He knows the lower leagues and has a really good reputation.

‘I’m happy I can work with him.

‘He knows not just his physio stuff but also the game.

‘He is Pompey through and through now, too.

‘In this time, we need people who care about the club.

‘He knows a lot of players and has helped the club massively.

‘Guy knows the people who are good for the club and their character.

‘It was really difficult at times last season, but Steve and Guy worked well together.

‘So I’m looking forward to seeing that again moving forward.

‘Steve obviously loves the place and feels comfortable – and it’s about where you enjoy your work.’

Allen has made himself an approachable figure since he was brought to the club by then Blues boss Steve Cotterill in 2010.

That has gone down well with plenty of the squad, with the physio acting as a conduit between the players and management.

Midfielder Jed Wallace believes Allen’s influence around the club has been felt beyond his physio role for some time now.

He explained Allen was key in bringing him to Fratton Park from non-league Lewes in 2011.

There are plenty of others who that has been with the case with, too.

But Wallace feels it’s Allen’s character which makes him an excellent choice for the assistant’s role.

Wallace said: ‘I knew the gaffer would be straight on the assistant manager’s job, and Wiggy knows everyone.

‘He’s a top bloke, Wiggy. He was part of the reason I came to Portsmouth in the first place.

‘Any of the players feel they can go and talk to him.

‘It’s important a player can feel they can talk to someone and he isn’t going to run off and tell everyone about it.

‘There are players who have sent bottles of Champagne to him in thanks for getting them to the club.

‘He’s a very likeable bloke, a nice chap.

‘He was already involved in things anyway with the staff.

‘He was taking a pool session at the end of last season.

‘Wiggy got all those players like Yassin (Moutaouakil) and Therry (Racon) in, so I told him he’s basically an agent.

‘I told him he was the physio, agent and now he’s the lifeguard!

‘He’s the man for Portsmouth!’