DANNY HOLLANDS is eyeing Paul Cook’s favoured system revitalising his Pompey performances.
The midfielder endured a disappointing personal campaign last term as he failed to live up to his earlier star billing.
Working as a two sitting in front of the back four suits me. One of you can go, one can sit and you build that relationship.Danny Hollands
A return of five goals in seven matches while on loan from Charlton in the 2013-14 season earned him a two-year Blues deal last summer.
The backbone to those immense displays was then-boss Andy Awford’s 4-2-3-1 formation, which involved Hollands as one of the two sitting midfielders.
But Awfs subsequently tinkered with his system in the 2014-15 campaign, rarely returning to the one which served him so well in the battle against relegation.
Now Cook has arrived – and brings with him his preferred 4-2-3-1 system.
Music to the ears of Hollands, who hopes he can once again thrive.
He said: ‘Last year was disappointing, I was open enough about that, it didn’t happen how I wanted it to.
‘Now it’s a case of me getting my head down. I want to play, I want to score goals for the club and be part of hopefully a good season.
‘The 4-2-3-1 is what I played when I first joined Portsmouth, I enjoyed it, so there is no reason why I can’t play it under the new manager.
‘Every manager has a different way of playing their systems as well so it is something we will all learn over the pre-season, but there is no reason why I can’t play in a two.
‘That is what I enjoy playing and, previously, it was good for me and the team.
‘As a whole it was a tough season last year with those different systems we played. Personally, I like playing with a winger outside of me, but it wasn’t set up that way.
‘Some of the time I played in a 3-5-2 where I was played with a wing-back, which works for some people but just didn’t work for me.
‘I like getting the ball wide and then getting into the box. I am a traditional box-to-box midfielder, I defend and attack, that is what I enjoy doing and in the 4-2-3-1 you can do that.
‘Hopefully, if I can get the chance to do that – then I have to put the performances in.
‘Working as a two sitting in front of the back four suits me. One of you can go, one can sit and you build that relationship.
‘There are a lot of things we have got to look to do this season better than we did last season, while I have to make sure I knuckle down and prove people wrong.’
Hollands made 47 appearances last term, scoring only the one goal.
A tremendously disappointing campaign all round for both club and player.
He added: ‘I cannot blame anybody but myself, it just didn’t go for me for whatever reason.
‘It was a bit gut-wrenching but it happened and I can only knuckle down and try to put positive thoughts back into people’s heads.
‘Last year was a bit of a low. For everyone. It sticks in your mind and you just want to put things right and show people you don’t become a bad player overnight.
‘It happened, it has gone now. The best thing to do is learn from what we did wrong and hopefully become better.’