Grant plays down Kaboul exit
Avram Grant insists defender Younes Kaboul is not set for an imminent move away from Portsmouth.
Last Updated: 13/01/10 3:05pm
Avram Grant has played down Younes Kaboul's absence from Portsmouth's FA Cup win over Coventry City, insisting the defender is not set for an imminent move away from Fratton Park.
Kaboul sat out Pompey's nail-biting 2-1 win in extra-time at Coventry on Tuesday night which booked the club a fourth-round date at home to Sunderland.
The centre-half's omission from the team only served to fuel rumours that he could be sold to ease Portsmouth's financial troubles during the January transfer window.
Sunderland have been heavily linked with a bid for the Frenchman, but Grant is confident Kaboul will be in his team to face Birmingham in the Premier League on Saturday.
"He couldn't play, he was injured," said the Pompey boss.
"Younes was injured, he tried and wanted to play, but for him to play two games in four days is not good.
"But I think he will be available for Saturday."
Grant was only able to name six substitutes as opposed to the permitted seven, and he added: "One of them was a player from the academy, but you know the problems we have at the club.
"I want to speak about the players that were here and not about the problems."
Pompey's somewhat fortunate progress into the fourth round, with Aaron Mokoena heading a last-minute winner after Stephen Wright's own goal had sent the tie into extra-time, comes as a welcome respite in otherwise gloomy times at Fratton Park.
The club, who are propping up the Premier League table, are expected to find out on Wednesday whether they have been successful in their attempts to lift their transfer embargo and also receive around £7m in television money despite various clubs awaiting payment.
Portsmouth are also challenging the winding-up petition served on them by HM Revenue and Customs before Christmas.
But with all the negative publicity, Grant was keen to stress how proud he was of his players - who have been paid late more than once this season - having seen then come from behind against their Championship opponents.
"I don't see many clubs in this situation who could continue fighting and not give up," he said.
"This shows a lot of character. I'm very proud of what the players are doing and I think it's unique.
"I think everybody needs to learn that even with all the problems and the difficulties in football, you need to keep fighting and keep fighting."