Avram Grant: We might play a weak team

Avram Grant, the Portsmouth manager, has issued a warning that he could play weakened teams for the rest of the Premier League campaign after the team were hit with a nine-point penalty for entering administration, effectively sealing their relegation to the Championship.

Having booked their place in the FA Cup semi-final – where they await the winner of the Fulham vs Spurs replay –Grant’s decision could impact on teams at both ends of the table.

Pompey now lie 17 points from safety with only nine games of the season remaining and the Israeli is incensed that the club have been penalised for their wholesale financial mismanagement, with the club reported to be £80million in debt and having seen four owners at the helm in a disastrous season.

Grant said: “"I said we would fight against everything as long as we had a chance, now I don't know.

“We don't have a duty to the Premier League, or any other Premier team. I only have a duty to Pompey. The League have a duty to the rest of the clubs.

"Sometimes players want to play before the World Cup. Normally we say that the club is more important than any player and any manager, and the club and its future is more important than anything.

"But because of this situation in the league we need to think about other things.

"Normally I take all the decisions, and I will take them even now, about the players, how to treat them, who will play, who will not play, and the tactics.

"This isn't about the future of the club, it's about the next few weeks."

    Last updated: 12:22pm, March 19 2010