Boss wants positive start to 2013

Pompey caretaker boss Guy Whittingham, left, and Andy Awford
Pompey caretaker boss Guy Whittingham, left, and Andy Awford

It was a miserable end to the year that probably summed up 2012 for Pompey.

But Guy Whittingham remains hopeful the club’s fortunes will change as the page of the calendar is flipped over.

While a 2-1 home defeat to Yeovil would not normally provide too many reasons to be optimistic, the caretaker Blues boss spotted enough in the second half that suggested things were perhaps just starting to change for his side ahead of today’s trip to Swindon Town.

But Whittingham insists any luck that should come his team’s way needs to be earned, rather than expected.

‘You hope 2013 is a bit kinder to us than 2012,’ said Whittingham.

‘It’s not a good way to end the year losing at home, but I will take those last 45 minutes going into the next year.

‘We’ve got to remain as positive as we were in that second half against Yeovil and I’m convinced the luck will change.

‘We haven’t had too much going for us lately.

‘Yeovil’s two goals were scrappy and have somehow ended up in the back of our net.

‘Then when we were on top in the second half, we had those two chances that hit the post.

‘You just hope that somewhere along the line you get a bit of luck going our way.

‘Hopefully it will change for us.

‘But I always say you have to work hard to make your own luck in this game.’

Pompey desperately need a result at the County Ground today to raise hopes of clambering away from the League One relegation zone.

But the drop to League Two is looking an increasingly-realistic prospect – especially with a 10-point deduction still set to be imposed by the Football League if, and when, Pompey exit administration.

Whittingham, however, knows relegation or the team’s winless run is almost secondary to the forthcoming High Court case in London later this month.

He said: ‘It will be a relief when we get a decision on where this club is going – that is the big picture.

‘We want to find out what is happening with this great club and that will be the relief.

‘We will all keep plugging away – the staff, the players are all doing it to the best of our ability until we know where we are. Hopefully that will be the positive thing that will come out of this year.’

Whittingham issued his own end-of-year message to the players in the wake of the Yeovil defeat and is eager for a fresh start at Paolo Di Canio’s high-flying Swindon.

He said: ‘When you haven’t won in 12 games, confidence isn’t high.

‘It was not a good way to end the year but, if anything, we should take the last 45 minutes of this year to make sure we push on. It’s got to give us some momentum and that was the last thing we said to them in the changing room.

‘That gives us hope that players can put in a performance in the right way.

‘I’m not just talking about playing football but also about getting things right tactically.

‘We try to play football sometimes and it just isn’t on to do it. That was the difference in us in that second half and we need to take that into the Swindon game.’