Pardew has 'sympathy' for Pompey

12 February 2010 01:41
Portsmouth's cash crisis - they were given a seven-day stay of execution from a winding-up order this week - mirrors that of Southampton who were hours from going out of business over the summer.

While the blue half of Hampshire celebrated their FA Cup win in 2008, Saints were tumbling down the divisions and towards administration.

The tables have turned dramatically with Portsmouth on the ropes and Southampton under new ownership, making light of their 10-point penalty in League One and already booked in at Wembley for next month's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.

But Pardew takes no pleasure in the ongoing drama along the south coast.

"They are our local rivals and we are pleased they are still here with us - they had a big day in court on Wednesday and we are pleased it went well because we've been in that position," he said.

"I have a lot of sympathy for the players and staff there. Some of the players I know very well because I managed them - Hayden Mullins, Hermann Hreidarsson, David James.

"We are not going to be smug about that situation because we were in it not six months ago. We've come out the other end of it because our owners, who bought the club, have ambitions to go forward. I hope the scenario is the same for them in six months.

"I want that club to survive and come through, and I want us to be better than them and we are working towards that."

Despite being two divisions below, hosts Southampton could go into the match - the first derby meeting between the clubs in five years - as slight favourites.

But Pardew insists the pressure is all on the Premier League's bottom side, especially with Avram Grant's men starting to show they will not go down without a fight.

"It's a match that doesn't come around often, and it's probably come too soon for us," Pardew said. "You see these classic FA Cup games when the pitch is poor and a big side slips up. But the pitch is perfect so there'll be no excuses for them, it's the perfect platform for them and they should win.

"About six weeks ago would have been a better time to play them. When you have such turmoil off the pitch as a group you come together and want to fight the world.

"They are beginning to get that, they are playing well without getting the results and we are taking them on at their most angry.

"So there will be a lot of desire on the pitch and what we must do is be as committed and have as much internal strength as they do - and I think we will."

Portsmouth 6/4, Southampton 15/8, Draw 9/4  

Source: Team_Talk