A time for unity not divisions at Pompey

112202-760_WEST_HAM_SR_10/9/11'Action from  West Ham United vs Pompey at Upton Park.'Steve Cotterill on the touchline at Upton Park''Picture:Steve Reid 112202-760
112202-760_WEST_HAM_SR_10/9/11'Action from West Ham United vs Pompey at Upton Park.'Steve Cotterill on the touchline at Upton Park''Picture:Steve Reid 112202-760
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Now is not the time for panic.

Now is not the time for frustration at a poor performance to turn to dissent and manifest itself as hysteria.

Now is not the time for divisions in the stands, as amazingly was the case at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

What is needed now is a common sense of purpose, a determination and togetherness among all associated at Portsmouth Football Club.

Jason Pearce yesterday delivered a call-to-arms in The News ahead of two big home games in three days at Fratton Park.

Those sentiments were echoed today by Greg Halford, who has highlighted the role fans have to play in the games against Blackpool and Peterborough.

That’s a timely statement from the defender given the very un-Pompey-like reports of supporters arguing among each other at the weekend.

The display at Hull was clearly not up to scratch as Steve Cotterill’s men failed to get a shot on target in 90 minutes.

Cotterill, quite frankly, was let down by the performances from some of his players who failed to compete, the basic requisite any Pompey fan expects of their players.

There were other problems, too, such as the failure to follow instructions and some tactical doziness which proved costly.

This, however, was the first time this season Pompey had deserved to come away from a game empty handed

So, perhaps those who vented their spleens on radio phone-ins, internet forums and messageboards are being slightly premature in their condemnation of what has taken place in the first eight games of the campaign.

The strength of feeling from Pompey fans on different media platforms in the wake of the Hull game has been striking.

But it’s interesting to compare those who have been spitting fury there to what took place at a local radio forum last week.

Steve Cotterill took time out to address supporters at BBC Radio Solent’s fans’ forum at Fratton Park.

During the show, Cotterill spoke honestly, passionately and knowledgeably about all aspects of his managerial approach.

It was a revealing insight into his thinking as he spoke in great detail about his time at Pompey so far, tactics, formations and the club’s disciplinary record among other things.

Those who have questioned Cotterill were left in no doubt as to his nous, football intelligence and passion as he put on a rousing display.

It was interesting to note not a single voice from the hundreds present in the room were of a negative tone by the end.

That’s because Cotterill had put on such a convincing face-to-face performance with punters there was no room to harangue him.

I’ve seen eight different managers in the hotseat in my time covering Pompey.

And they have delivered vastly differing amounts of success along the way.

The man at the helm at the moment is more adept at his job than the vast majority of his predecessors.

Even the most successful Blues bosses have dealt with dressing room ructions as players turned against them.

Alain Perrin antagonised his players to the point of full-on revolt.

Cotterill, however, has his men standing squarely with him as they aim to get the season moving in the way it still promises.

That sense of solidarity now needs to echo in all corners of PO4.