Danny Hollands stands tall after his Pompey slip

Danny Hollands. Picture: Joe Pepler
Danny Hollands. Picture: Joe Pepler

Danny Hollands believes he has recovered from his costly slip as he attempts to get himself back on firm footing under Paul Cook.

The Pompey midfielder was recalled to the side for the 0-0 draw with Mansfield at the weekend coming in alongside Michael Doyle in place of Adam Barton.

It was his first start for the club since an unfortunate moment in the 2-1 home defeat to Exeter City when he stumbled and allowed David Wheeler a clear run at goal to fire past Aaron McCarey.

It was reminiscent of Steven Gerrard’s costly error for Liverpool against Chelsea, which effectively ended the Anfield club’s hopes of the Premier League title.

But although Hollands admits his mind still wanders back to the low moment, he looked back in a confident frame of mind on his return to the side.

Hollands said: ‘Against Exeter, I had that slip and I still think about it.

‘Mind you, if Steven Gerrard can slip, then I can slip!

‘The Mansfield game was a similar game that night against Exeter.

‘We controlled the game but then I slipped, they got a goal and it made things a lot easier for them.

‘I feel like it is behind me now but you have to move on from tough moments.

‘It was gutting at the time and it still hurts a bit but you can’t do anything about it now – it happened.

‘It’s all about trying to move forward and hopefully, I have shown that I have done that. It was obviously nice to come back into the team again.’

While Hollands is an experienced professional and understands the highs and lows of the game, he wouldn’t be human if the incident hadn’t at least had a slight effect on him.

With boss Paul Cook admitting he is still looking for the right balance, the former Bournemouth man believes there is still an opening for him.

And he’s hoping he has done enough to stay in the side for the Notts County trip.

Hollands said: ‘It can be tough. The new manager came in and I haven’t started the season in the side so I needed to get my bearings again.

‘It’s nice to get some minutes. Of course, I want to be involved in the next game but it’s the manager’s choice.

‘We’ve got good competition for places.

‘So I will keep my head down, keep training hard and try to do my best when I play to keep the shirt.

‘You’ve got to show what you can do and I felt I played a few nice balls.

‘Hopefully, I have done enough but that is down to the manager.’

After five goals in seven games during his loan spell in 2013-14, Hollands managed just two goals last season – the last of which came almost a year ago in the 2-2 FA Cup first-round draw with Aldershot.

But his priorties lie elsewhere as he tries to nail down his place in the side.

He said: ‘I’ve got my role in the side and it can be hard to get into the box as much as I have in the past.

‘There were a couple of times against Mansfield when the ball got to me and the fans were urging me to shoot.

‘One of them was about 40 yards out, but I understand their frustration.

‘I don’t care who scores, as long as we win.’