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Whittingham: Why Russell had to be axed for County

 

Darel Russell gave Pompey no alternative than to axe him from tonight’s squad against Notts County.

That is the verdict of Guy Whittingham, following the midfielder’s decision to quit ahead of his contract expiry.

Russell had told The News he was contemplating turning down a new deal in a bid to win trophies.

His current contract ends today, although he was eligible to feature in the Fratton Park visit of the Magpies. However, with the 32-year-old confiding in Whittingham he would not be penning a fresh deal, the Blues’ caretaker boss felt it best Russell was not included.

It means he has now left the club after 18 appearances.

Whittingham said: ‘Darel was frustrated that things have not worked out off the field as he was told they would do.

‘He felt that he wasn’t doing himself justice because of all the travelling he was doing and was not at the top of what he wanted to be.

‘I think mostly throughout this season he has done a decent job for us in difficult circumstances.

‘But he just feels he can’t commit to that any more and if he did for another month it might stop options for him.

‘I just believe – and I have done it with other players – once you know the player is not going to be here then you need to get players playing together who are.

‘I can understand people’s reason for not being here, but you have got to play those who are going to be around.

‘I am slightly disappointed we won’t have him as a player, of course, because he is one of the more experienced players we have got.

‘He’s a permanent signing, as in not on loan, and was good with the kids.’

 

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