Cotterill rues Portsmouth's lack of signings and start

Steve Cotterill
Cotterill was appointed as Avram Grant's successor in June 2010

Portsmouth boss Steve Cotterill says his side's poor start to the season and lack of new signings are to blame if they fail to make the play-offs.

Pompey, who sit nine points below the play-off places, only won two of their first 10 games this term after signing just four first-team players.

"If we don't make the play-offs it's because of our awful season start," Cotterill told BBC Radio Solent.

"Also not being able to bring players in, that will be the reason why."

When Cotterill became Pompey boss in June 2010 he saw then Blues captain Marc Wilson and striker Tommy Smith leave the club.

Smith went to Queens Park Rangers while Wilson joined Stoke as part of a swap deal with striker Dave Kitson and winger Liam Lawrence.

Further additions were made to the squad with the arrival of ex-Stoke defenders Ibrahima Sonko, Carl Dickinson and Crystal Palace goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan.

But, Cotterill still had to contend with a depleted squad for the majority of the season - even playing some games with only four substitutes available.

"Even if we finish off these eight games in average mode, average would still be good enough if we had got those points in the ten games where we couldn't field a team properly because we didn't have enough players," said Cotterill.

"This team has been capable of putting five or six wins together back to back and we have got seven games left so who knows.

"We've got Preston on Saturday and it is more about what we do and how we bounce back from our game against Reading," Cotterill added.