Blues looking for home comfort again

Preston North End manager Graham Westley
Preston North End manager Graham Westley

Pompey have been warned they will be facing a side lifted by the prospect of playing at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Caretaker boss Guy Whttingham believes teams are upping their games when they travel to meet the Blues.

Whittingham’s side are looking for their first win on home soil since October 20 when they take on the Lilywhites.

Pompey have lost four on the bounce on their own patch and have delivered largely lacklustre form there this season.

Graham Westley’s Preston are likely to provide a stern test of their credentials, after winning three and drawing one of their last five on the road.

And Whittingham believes it’s key the visitors are not given an early boost.

He said: ‘We need to get over the hurdle of playing at Fratton Park, where teams see it as a place they are lifted.

‘We have to prepare for a Preston side looking forward to playing at Fratton because of the atmosphere it creates.

‘The opposition want to come and do well because of the history of the club.

‘Those first 15 minutes are vital and we have to make sure we don’t give teams a lift.

‘That’s what we have done in the past.’

Although Whittingham is guarding against conceding early, he has noted how Pompey have battled back from going behind in their last two away trips at Coventry and Tranmere.

He believes that shows there is character in the current set-up.

‘We have a good bunch of lads with a good spirit,’ he said.

‘So hopefully, with the stuff on the training pitch and the chats we have with them, they will be prepared for the game.

‘We’re trying to build a good spirit and never give up. That’s the way it has to be.

‘We know if we go a goal down our heads don’t go down. We are prepared to dig in and work for each other.’