Saints sympathy has a limit

12 February 2010 01:48
Southampton boss Alan Pardew has plenty of sympathy for down-at-heel neighbours Portsmouth - but that will not extend onto the pitch when the teams meet in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday. 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."

Source: PA