Now we’ll see who the fighters are

Pompey defender Joe Devera Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defender Joe Devera Picture: Joe Pepler
Harry Redknapp has managed both Pompey and Bournemouth

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JOE DEVERA reflected on the turmoil at Pompey and promised: Now we’ll see who the characters are.

Devera has called for unity in the wake of another week of drama at Fratton Park.

Guy Whittingham’s departure on Monday proved a surprise turn in the campaign, in the wake of four defeats on the spin.

That news shocked the Blues playing staff who were left surprised at his sacking, despite recent form.

Devera admitted it’s been a tough period at the club and events have proved a challenge to the team.

But the 26-year-old feels now is the time when Pompey will find out who fighters are in their camp.

Today’s meeting with Hartlepool is the first of seven games between now and the New Year’s Day trip to Southend.

And Devera believes it’s down to the players to show their resilience.

He said: ‘It’s been a weird week. It’s not the best time of the season for us.

‘It’s going to get harder and harder unless we pull together. We have to keep going.

‘We will definitely find out who the characters are now.

‘We’ll find out who wants it and who is willing to put the hard work in.

‘As players we need to get ourselves up. I don’t think we can pass the buck on to the fans. We need to get them up for it, not the other way around.

‘We need to take full responsibility for ourselves and take what we do on the training ground on to the pitch.’

Whittingham’s exit after 16 league games this season caught the Pompey squad on the hop.

Devera explained the players had no inkling the decision had been made.

That proved a challenge for them to deal with as they went into Tuesday’s meeting with Southend.

The defender felt Whittingham was ‘unfortunate’ to be sacked.

But the Londoner knows such events are the norm in the world of football.

He underlined the importance of Pompey’s players quickly coming to terms with what has unfolded, as they bid to find some impetus going forward.

‘It’s difficult to see Guy go,’ said Devera.

‘He’s a brilliant man and a nice fella. I have a lot of respect for him. I think he was a little bit unfortunate.

‘I just got a phone call saying the gaffer had gone.

‘I wasn’t expecting it, to be honest. The result on Saturday wasn’t the best, but I thought we’d wait to see what happened.

‘It’s difficult to talk about it really, that’s just the way football is. It’s hard for a manager – very hard.

‘There’s been times when I worked under three managers in a season.

‘It’s just part and parcel of the game, I guess.

‘As players, we need to concentrate on what we do on the pitch and get a result.’

n Tickets for Pompey Academy’s FA Youth Cup game against Saints at St Mary’s on December 10 are now on sale.