Fratton Park side may take it easy for the rest of the season.
Avram Grant has hinted he will make a farce of the Barclays Premier League survival race by fielding weakened teams for the rest of the season.
The Portsmouth manager is furious his team have been condemned to play Championship football next term after being deducted nine points for going into administration.
He will hold a crisis meeting with his players today in an attempt to discover how they want to approach their remaining nine league games, when they have nothing left to play for.
And in a threat to the integrity of the Premier League he has refused to rule out two stark possibilities.
He may field weakened teams, preferring to keep his best players fit for their April 10 FA Cup semi-final date against Fulham or Tottenham at Wembley.
And he may listen sympathetically to players like David James, Nadir Belhadj and Hassan Yebda if they say they do not want to risk getting injured before the World Cup.
Grant is in no mood to bow to any league dictat that he should field his strongest team in every game.
Grant said: ‘We don’t have a duty to the other Premier League teams. The Premier League has a duty to the other teams.
‘We have a duty to Portsmouth, and I have a duty to football.
‘We’ve tried everything in the last months to keep the spirit of football and what I think football is about and I don’t see any reason to do it when we haven’t got a target. Of course our target now is the semi-final.’ (Daily Mail)
This could get interested. Not sure what Avram needs to sit down and talk to his players about. What does “sit down and discuss how they want to approach the remaining games” well presumably they want to approach them with the mindset of trying to win them? Am I missing something here?
Whether you think Portsmouth deserved their nine point deduction, which by the way they did, surely the idea that they may decide to field weakened teams is a highly immoral one and one that will not taken lightly by the authorities.
Hopefully this is just a knee jerk reaction and any intention to take it easy is one that is surely made in jest?