THE POMPEY dressing room united around Dan Butler after his Leyton Orient nightmare.
And the teenager has been tipped to bounce back stronger after his mistake led to the Blues’ downfall last night at Matchroom Stadium.
Pompey’s two-game winning run came to an end as Shaun Batt intercepted Butler’s backpass for the only goal of the game.
It was rough justice on caretaker boss Guy Whittingham’s side, whose display warranted a return from the match.
But Butler’s team-mates were quick to leap to the defence of the player, who produced an otherwise strong display.
Captain Johnny Ertl backed the 18-year-old to learn from the mistake.
The skipper believes Butler has already shown the strength of character to rally and push forward over the rest of the season after his moment to forget.
Ertl said: ‘Everybody backs Buts.
‘He’s a fantastic player and he has shown such improvement.
‘In the situation we are in it’s a huge learning curve for every player.
‘What he is learning now will take him forward and this will make him a stronger and better player.
‘These things happen. It happens to everybody.
‘It’s an individual error and we need to eliminate these.
‘He’s a great lad and a strong character and I really like that from him.
‘It’s how you deal with it now.
‘A mistake happened but we lose together and win together.
‘We all know Buts is a great lad who has looked really good in recent games.
‘He looks comfortable on the ball.
‘Now he has to respond to the cold water.
‘The most important thing is how you react to the mistake.
‘He still wanted the ball after the mistake happened – and that shows his strength of character.’
Gabor Gyepes has been playing alongside Butler since he made his league breakthrough for Pompey against Hartlepool in January.
The teenager has 13 senior appearances to his name, emphasising how quickly he has progressed.
The Hungarian believes Butler will learn from making an error which proved key to the game’s outcome.
He has seen enough of the exciting young left-back to feel he has the mental fortitude to prevail.
Gyepes said: ‘It’s easy to blame Dan for a mistake which lost the game.
‘But it’s part of the game and he is a young player.
‘At the start of the season he wouldn’t have thought he would be playing for this team regularly.
‘He’s a tough guy who has played well in recent weeks, so we don’t blame him. The fact we lost is the best lesson he can learn from this.
‘So we don’t blame him, we try to help him because the future is his.’