Coppell calls for Fratton wall of noise

Former Pompey manager Alan Ball

Former Pompey manager Alan Ball

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Steve Coppell issued the Pompey battle-cry and urged fans to make a ‘barrage of noise’.

Tomorrow represents a massive Fratton Park fixture in the ongoing fight to remain in League Two for the Blues.

Richie Barker’s side face a York team undefeated in eight matches with six victories – including four on the bounce.

It adds up to tough opposition for Pompey in a match they need to win, particularly with a trip to league leaders Rochdale on Tuesday night.

As ever, the Fratton faithful will have a big role to play.

Although, ultimately, success comes down to the players performing on the pitch.

But director of football Coppell is convinced an intimidating atmosphere can also help topple the in-form Minstermen.

He said: ‘York, when they arrive tomorrow, will be edgy if they get a barrage of noise.

‘As Bill Shankly used to say about Liverpool: “When they are attacking that far end the fans used to suck the ball into the net”.

‘If that happens tomorrow we will get the result we want.

‘In my first season at Palace, Pompey turned up to play a game, Bally (Alan Ball) was manager and I didn’t know the phenomenon that is Portsmouth.

‘This huge number of fans turned up at Selhurst Park and took what is now the Sainsbury’s end over and sung Play up Pompey – it was driving me crackers!

‘I was thinking: “Will you shut up, it’s our home game you shouldn’t be doing this”. I had huge admiration and there was also Bally’s passion.

‘What would he make of this situation? He would want everybody to show their passion on their sleeves.

‘When we get beat we all get beat and it’s painful for the supporters because you want to be proud of your team.

‘But going forward, ask the question: “What is the best thing I can do to help this team?”

‘Is it rollicking the manager? Is it rollicking the players?

‘In this particular situation, no – because that is going to make it more nervous and more edgy for us.’

York’s four straight victories have been against Exeter, AFC Wimbledon, Mansfield and Wycombe – all among the Blues’ relegation rivals.

They also destroyed Pompey at Bootham Crescent in September in a depressing 4-2 scoreline.