Johnny Ertl has called for a Pompey siege mentality to drive them through the season’s finale and blasted: It’s us against the world.
The Blues captain has demanded his team fight to the finish, with 14 games of the season remaining.
Pompey’s bid to stay in League One now looks a hopeless cause with the side 10 points from safety – and with another 10 points expected to be deducted before the season is out, if they exit administration.
But Ertl knows there is still plenty to play for in terms of honour for the Blues.
And he feels they can use the incessant problems the club has faced to build resolve in that fight.
Ertl said: ‘We have to look at our own performances. It’s us against the world.
‘It’s been horrible for everybody and we are desperate for good news.
‘So many players have left and there are new players coming in we don’t know. That is not a normal situation.
‘But we have achieved a result at Hartlepool.
‘That shows we are fighting until the end and I am proud of that.
‘We have to show that and then try to build up a team spirit from that.
‘We are showing we can play. The team morale is strong and we have shown that and we are not giving up.’
Ertl believes Pompey can now afford to release the shackles, with little in the way of expectation on the side.
‘We have to go out there and play with freedom and enjoy playing football,’ he said.
‘That way things will turn for us.
‘That’s not always easy when there is so much insecurity.
‘But everybody is trying to keep this club alive.’
– JORDAN CROSS