Devera: Underachieving Pompey proved costly

Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Devera made 80 appearances and scored once for Pompey
  • Joined in the summer of 2013 as Guy Whittingham built his post-administration side

Joe Devera bemoaned Pompey’s failure to live up to two years of promotion aspirations.

But the axed defender has backed next season to finally yield the League Two challenge the Fratton faith have craved.

I just thought we underachieved and it reflects badly on the players. I was disappointed

Joe Devera

The ex-Swindon Town man was among nine players who paid the price for this season’s finish of 16th when their contracts were not renewed.

It followed Andy Awford’s March exit having fallen considerably short of his board’s pre-season demands of a push for the play-offs.

Devera candidly admits ahead of the 2014-15 campaign he had also anticipated promotion.

What emerged was underachievement and the subsequent clearing of the decks at Fratton Park.

But the 28-year-old is convinced under new boss Paul Cook the Blues can finally stop being promotion pretenders – and fulfil their potential.

He said: ‘We should have done a lot better, there were high expectations of pushing for promotion and we should be up there.

‘I just thought we underachieved and it reflects badly on the players. I was disappointed.

‘I have stayed fit and played quite a few games this season, so in that respect I am quite happy with it.

‘It’s just that collectively we are not doing as well as we should have. Personally, at the start of the season I thought we could get promoted.

‘We started very well and then it just dipped and before you know it we were out of the running. I couldn’t tell you the reasons, it could be a number of things, it would be just nit picking.

‘Every season I was there we were looking for promotion but it just didn’t happen.

‘I don’t want to put pressure on the club next season, there’s no point doing that, but it should do better than we did this season. It can definitely look to promotion under the new manager.

‘I enjoyed my time at Pompey, loved it in fact. I enjoyed living in Southsea, playing for the club, being with the boys, while all the staff were quality and I liked the managers we had.

‘The only thing I can criticise is we didn’t do well enough.’

Devera made 80 appearances during his two seasons at Fratton Park, also weighing in with a spectacular goal against Stevenage in October 2014.

It had been a difficult start, but he soon established himself as a reliable performer in several defensive positions.

Devera added: ‘It was a good chapter, I was there for two years and there’s nothing wrong with moving on.

‘For me it was a great opportunity to play at Fratton Park and I enjoyed it a lot.

‘The first season the club was still recovering and there were all the new players coming together, while the second season as a whole we were a bit better, even though we underachieved.

‘There was that goal I scored against Stevenage, which was a nice one, they are good memories.

‘I hear some fans called me “Devinho”, which I take as a massive compliment!

‘They have been a great group of lads to play with – and there are still a lot of them remaining at the club.’