Crouch sad for Pompey plight
Peter Crouch admitted that despite being desperate to reach the FA Cup final, it would be hard on Portsmouth.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 11/04/10 2:25pm
Tottenham striker Peter Crouch has stated that despite being desperate to reach the FA Cup final, it would be a 'bittersweet day' for his former club Portsmouth should they lose to his side.
The South Coast club have gone through immense financial woe this season, with owners coming and going and the club becoming the first team in Premier League history to go into administration.
But Pompey have been resurgent in their hunt for some sort of success this season, with them reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where the very familiar faces of Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Niko Kranjcar and former boss Harry Redknapp will be their opposition for Spurs at Wembley on Sunday.
Crouch was adamant that his side would take no prisoners in their quest for the final, although he admitted that the state his former club are in is a depressing one.
"I'm really sad for the plight Portsmouth are in. It's a great occasion for them, but we still want to win," said Crouch.
"It's difficult to say if I'd celebrate a goal against them.
"They're going through difficult times, but we've got a job to do and I want to get to the final.
"Ask any Portsmouth fan: 'Would you rather have won the FA Cup and had that experience or be just above the relegation zone and not had that experience?' It's a difficult one, but I think they might say they'd rather have seen their club win the FA Cup - not many clubs can say that.
Crouch signed for Portsmouth for £9million from Liverpool for the second time in his career in the summer of 2008 in what were heady days at Fratton Park.
Pompey had just won the FA Cup under Redknapp and finished eighth in the Premier League - their highest ever finish.
The likes of Defoe, Kranjcar, Lassana Diarra, Glen Johnson, Sol Campbell, David James and Sulley Muntari were all part of what was a promising, though expensively assembled squad under then-owner Aleksandr Gaydamak.
But things quickly turned sour after Redknapp's departure, with almost the entire cup winning side, apart from England goalkeeper James, moving on and the club falling deep into financial trouble.
"I joined just after they won the cup and the team was already in place. If we could have kept that team together there is loads we could have achieved," Crouch added.
"It was obviously a lot of money for me personally and it wasn't just me. They were buying a lot of players and I just assumed there must have been the backing there.
"We were playing in the Uefa Cup and then what happened, for whatever reason, happened.
"When I sign for a club I don't go through the book, I just assumed it was being run properly. But it appears it wasn't and that's why they're in trouble."