Whittingham: Spirit has made us a team

It's been happier times for Guy Whittingham and his Pompey squad in recent weeks    Picture: Joe Pepler
It's been happier times for Guy Whittingham and his Pompey squad in recent weeks Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham felt Pompey’s new spirit had fired their recent improvement and said: We’re a team now.

The caretaker Blues boss has seen the togetherness at the club grow in recent weeks, leading to the Blues tasting defeat just twice in their past eight games.

While most already accept that League One relegation is inevitable this season, there is significant improvement and pride has been restored.

And Whittingham believed he now had a team all pulling for each other, rather than a collection of individuals.

On the back of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at table-topping Doncaster, Whittingham said: ‘If you go back to December or January, if we had gone 1-0 down to the league leaders, it would have killed us off there and then.

‘Us getting back into the game at Doncaster shows we have that determination to fight for each other now.

‘There is a good spirit that has grown and really built over the past three or four weeks.

‘It’s fantastic to see it develop and it’s what we have missed badly because we have had so many players coming and going this season.

‘I’m sure anybody who plays a team sport will tell you that a good spirit is the be-all and end-all for any successful team.

‘You can look at any sport: rugby, cricket or whatever.

‘You just feel you can go a lot further when you are a team working for each other, rather than a group of individuals.

‘It’s massive to any club – whether you are fighting for promotion or trying to avoid relegation.

‘And it makes a big difference when you know everybody is working for one cause and pulling in the same direction.

‘There is a good atmosphere in the squad and it is great to be amongst it now.’

With so little continuity and stability at Fratton Park this term and a totally different set of players starting the season, it has taken time to see the dynamics of this current team emerge.

But Whittingham thought that had developed simply by players now knowing they were here until the end of the season at least. He said: ‘I’m sure some people might underestimate the fact that this team has not been together long.

‘But they are a settled team, they know they are going to be here until the end of the season. They like being here.

‘Every one of them comments on our great fans every week.

‘Some of them can’t believe the support they get. It never stops.

‘But a lot of them have shown interest in being here for next season.

‘If everything goes right off the pitch, they would like to stay.

‘This is why it’s so important to keep that momentum going until the end of the season.’