Danny Hollands: New Pompey system can bring out best in me

Danny Hollands has returned to Pompey training determined to make up lost ground after a disappointing 2014-15 season Picture: Colin Farmery
Danny Hollands has returned to Pompey training determined to make up lost ground after a disappointing 2014-15 season Picture: Colin Farmery
  • Hollands scored once in 47 appearances last season
  • The previous campaign’s return of five goals in seven games earned him a permanent Fratton Park switch

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.’