Halford Seeks Pompey Stay

Last updated : 23 March 2011 By Jim Bonner
Greg Halford has told the local news today that he wishes to stay at Portsmouth for the long haul, saying that it is "an honour" to be playing for our football club.

The 26-year-old has a year left to run on his contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers but he beileves that he will be surplus to requirements and hopes that he can sign for Pompey permanently - if the club can afford him.

Steve Cotterill has to take credit for switching Halford from his more familiar right back position into a centre back partnership with Ricardo Rocha that has played a significant part in the team keeping eight clean sheets in nine games.

I'll admit that I had reservations about Greg playing at centre back permanently. He did well on his debut to fill Rocha's shoes when he was injured at Millwall but some of his performances in that position afterwards didn't leave me convinced that he was able to perform up to a good standard in that role.

When there were obvious candidates like Hermann Hreidarsson and Aaron Mokoena who were far more familiar position I began to wonder what Cotterill was thinking by playing an orthodox right back in the centre and whether he should be kept on at all as his performances at right back were steady but unspectacular for the most part, but he has proved me wrong.

Greg has come a long way and has improved alongside Rocha as the man who can win almost anything in the air due to his height, can pass the ball or put it into row Z when required and can even score the odd goal now and then.

If Pompey are only able to sign one of their current loanees permanently then it has to be Halford. Ritchie De Laet would be a contender but Joel Ward may end up at right back next season and Halford not only offers Rocha a more-than-capable partner at centre back, but his versatility is also a welcome bonus.

Whether he will sign permanently or not is not just down to the owners, but also Wolves' Premier League status. If Mick McCarthy's men are relegated and he sees the rave reviews that Halford has been getting in the press, he may want to keep him.

If Wanderers survive, then hopefully they won't ask for a significant sum of money but I expect this will be the stumbling block. Perhaps this extra season ticket money the fans are forking out can pay for his permanent signature?