No more Smertin

Last updated : 29 June 2004 By Alex Dale
Portsmouth had been hopeful of extending the loan of the Russian captain after a successful first season on the south coast but Smertin has instead opted to fight for his place at Chelsea.

It is yet another blow to manager Harry Redknapp's so far unsucessful close season. Redknapp had earlier failed to land Ipswich's Marcus Bent, who instead chose to join Everton.

"You go away to calm down in the summer but I have never had so much stress in my life. At the moment I have got two forwards, three centre-halves and one left-back. I need three or four quality players to have a chance of staying up" said Redknapp.