David Norris prepared for Pompey’s Championship finale and told Blues fans: This is for you.
Norris has called for his team to deliver a fitting performance for the travelling blue army as they wave goodbye to the English game’s second tier at Nottingham Forest tomorrow.
The 31-year-old knows supporters will travel to the City Ground in their thousands, as they have done all season.
And the midfielder believes it is crucial Pompey deliver a display that can provide optimism for fans moving forward.
Norris said: ‘The club and fans deserve so much better.
‘It would be nice to go out with a win for them.
‘They are going to travel there in their thousands, as they always do.
‘It would be nice to show our appreciation with a win and get three points for them.
‘It would be nice to be able to give them some hope over the summer.’
With the relegation battle now done and dusted, tomorrow’s game has little significance in terms of the Championship table.
Norris believes the games against fellow-strugglers Bristol City and Coventry were the crucial ones in deciding his team’s fate this season.
Pompey lost 2-0 at the Sky Blues – who ended up dropping down into League One with them – and drew 0-0 against Bristol City at Fratton Park, despite battering the Robins in the second half.
He said: ‘Bristol City at home and Coventry away are ones that stand out.
‘We needed to win and pick up points. They are the what ifs, if we were looking to stay up.’
Despite a slow start to his Pompey career after a free transfer from Ipswich last summer, Norris became a key player in the second half of the campaign.
He will always be remembered for his last-gasp leveller in the 2-2 derby draw at Southampton.
Championship clubs are expected to make a move for him this summer, though.
And one of Pompey’s highest-paid players rued the fact that the Blues could not find more consistency to put together a successful survival run-in.
Norris added: ‘A few weeks ago we said we didn’t want the 10-point difference to make a difference, but we were so up and down.
‘That was the main aim, and if we had been more consistent we would have stayed up.
‘Everyone was all over the place for a few weeks.’