DANNY HOLLANDS has targeted an extended run in the side after fearing his Pompey career was over.
The midfielder has thanked boss Paul Cook for showing faith in him after he thought his Fratton Park days were numbered.
I did think the worstDanny Hollands
Hollands is set to make his 300th league start against Hartlepool tomorrow. That’s after starting eight games on the bounce for the Blues.
It’s a big turnaround for the 30-year-old, who didn’t start a league game under Cook until the end of September.
He admitted he thought the writing was on the wall at Pompey.
But the former Chelsea trainee has shown a resolve and professionalism to turn his fortunes around.
Hollands said: ‘I’m enjoying my football.
‘It’s nice to be part of a winning team and it’s nice, personally, for me to play.
‘When you have a new manager coming in and you don’t start the season, you always assume the worst.
‘So I’ve had to knuckle down and train hard. I’ve done that and been able to play the last five or six games. I’m really enjoying it.
‘I did think the worst, and it’s natural. There aren’t many of the players left from last season.
‘But I’m a person who won’t leave until I’m told to leave.
‘The manager probably knows the north better than he knows the south after being up there.
‘So I’ve had to knuckle down, work hard in training and show what I can do.
‘It wasn’t that I didn’t have a conversation with him, but he never asked me to leave.
‘So maybe I’ve stuck around like a bad smell!
‘I’ve got my head down, trained hard and tried to do the best I can.
‘The gaffer has said to me a couple of times that’s he’s noticed it.
‘I was waiting for an opportunity and it’s been nice to be part of a winning team.
‘One thing I’ve tried to do in my career is have a good attitude. That’s just the way I am.
‘For me, I’ve tried to work hard, get my head down and I’m thankful I’ve been given the opportunity.’
Tomorrow against Hartlepool is set to be a landmark occasion for Hollands, as he hits 300 league starts.
He feels getting to 500 appearances will represent a good career.
‘It’s nice from a personal point of view, but it’s a team game,’ said Hollands.
‘I want to work hard and, if selected, help the team get three points.
‘If you can look back in your career and say you played 500 times, you’ve had a good career.
‘You have to take your hat off to people who have done that. I’d love to be one of them.
‘I’ve hopefully got five years left, so I want to keep battling and keep getting games.
‘If you do things right you can play 50 or 60 games a season.
‘You have to train well, get in the team, not lose your shirt and just tick those games off.’