Pompey skipper insists confidence is growing

8/12/12_TRANMERE_POMPEY'Actiojn from Tranmere Rovers vs Pompey at Prenton Park.''Picture: Steve Reid (123963-913)
8/12/12_TRANMERE_POMPEY'Actiojn from Tranmere Rovers vs Pompey at Prenton Park.''Picture: Steve Reid (123963-913)

Brian Howard surveyed the gutsy draw at leaders Tranmere and vowed: The belief is back.

The Pompey skipper told supporters the confidence is flowing into his team’s ranks after twice fighting back to claim a 2-2 draw at Prenton Park.

Howard pinpointed the influence of the Blues’ caretaker team of Andy Awford and Guy Whittingham in building a sense of spirit and unity in the camp.

The 29-year-old feels the team are responding to the framework being implemented by the duo when it came to the side’s organisation.

Howard can also see plenty of threat in all areas of Pompey’s 20-man squad.

Now he is calling on the team to build on the momentum being created by picking up a win against Preston on home soil next weekend.

Howard said: ‘We’ve shown character in the past two games.

‘After the run we’ve been on it would have been easy to concede and let our heads go down.

‘That never happened, though, and we showed character.

‘We’ve shown good character to pick up two good away points.

‘But they are only good points if you follow them up with wins at home.

‘That’s what we need to do moving forward. We’ve got a bit of a team spirit going now.

‘We’ve got our 20-man squad, a bit of shape and a way of playing.

‘We’re nice and organised and we have people who come off the bench and can be threats.

‘So if we’re organised and can stay in games, especially away from home, we have players who have magic in them who will allow us to kick on.

‘We know what Guy and Awfs want.

‘Now we have to put it right on the pitch.

‘They are battering stuff into us and they are giving us confidence.

‘There are positive signs there now.

‘We look more organised and have that bit of resilience.

‘Now we need to take that on and have that bit of quality in the final third to turn these away draws into home wins.

‘That’s how you build up points and get up the league.’

Howard feels there is no doubt Pompey benefited from having a week without having a game to prepare for.

That allowed Whittingham and Awford time to get their ideas across before attentions turned to the trip to Tranmere.

The former Barnsley and Millwall player feels Pompey reaped the rewards of that preparation on Saturday.

Now the test is to build on the confidence gained, going into a critical and busy festive period.

Howard said: ‘The last two weeks have given us some time on the training ground and time to do extra fitness work.

‘There’s been a lot of organisation, especially defensive shape. We look more solid.

‘Apart from set pieces they really didn’t have a lot of chances.

‘Now we have to take that into a home game and play some good stuff at home.

‘So we have to get our heads screwed on now and work hard towards getting a result against Preston.’