manager Guy Whittingham believes a sense of unity holds the key as Pompey attempt to get their season back on track tomorrow.
The Blues host Scunthorpe at Fratton Park, bidding to respond to two demoralising defeats where questions were raised over some of the players’ commitment to the cause.
Those losses at Newport and AFC Wimbledon also saw the manager come in for intense criticism, with some fans voicing their growing displeasure at his tenure.
Whittingham knows he needs a performance from his players in a vital game.
But he believes he has the full support of the board and has backed his players to deliver.
Whittingham said: ‘No matter what we did this week, the players have to give a big response against Scunthorpe.
‘You don’t need Einstein to tell you the commitment to winning the game last week wasn’t where it should be.
‘We’ve got to make sure it’s there this weekend.
‘The fans here can take a defeat as long as everyone out there is giving everything that they have got to give.’
Asked if he felt let down by his players, Whittingham replied: ‘We’re all in this together.
‘They could say we let them down as much as they let us down.
‘It’s not about us and them.
‘We’re in it together. We’ve got to solve the problem to try to be successful together.
‘Ultimately, it’s about the football club and the people that support it – that’s what we’ve all got to think about.
‘When I say “we”, I mean the fans, the staff and the players.
‘We are all desperately trying to be successful this season.
‘And we all need to pull together to make that happen.’
Whittingham met with chairman Iain McInnes and chief executive Mark Catlin this week and was given the green light to bring in defender Dan Potts on loan from West Ham.
The Blues boss said: ‘They are great to work with and it was very positive.
‘It was a case of “what needs doing and what can we do to help?”
‘The conversation was along the lines of “we’re not far off, although we know we didn’t do well enough in the past two games”.
‘But now we all want to put that right.’
And despite the poor run of form, the Blues boss remains ambitious on what can be achieved this season, setting his sights on reaching the League Two play-offs.
He said: ‘At first, with everything that’s gone on at this club, the objective was to stay in the league.
‘But as time goes on and you get a few results, you think you can get up and around the play-offs.
‘We have to remember that the club is evolving and the team is evolving.
‘If we can get to the play-offs, it would be a good season.’