Nicky Shorey has called for Pompey’s squad to release each other from the shackles to save their Football League status.
And the Blues defender has admitted he isn’t looking at the perilous nature of the League Two table as the campaign reaches fever pitch.
Richie Barker’s position as manager is hanging in the balance today after a meeting with chairman Iain McInnes and chief executive Mark Catlin last night, where his future was on the agenda.
There was no unanimous decision from the club’s seven-man board over his role, however, paving the way for Barker to remain.
With pressure mounting around the club and Pompey two points from the drop zone, Shorey yesterday told The News it’s down to the players to turn the season around.
The 33-year-old insisted his team-mates can do that off the pitch as well as on it by helping each other play with freedom.
He admitted he is doing that by ignoring his team’s current 22nd place in the table.
Shorey said: ‘I haven’t looked at the league and don’t look at results.
‘I just worry about getting out there and putting in performances.
‘There is no other way around it.
‘We need to start winning games. We need to start pulling our weight.
‘We are all well aware we need to do better but it’s not all about the individuals. It’s the collective and we need to do better as unit
‘That’s off the pitch as well as on it.
‘We need to start helping each other to open up.
‘We have to help each other to go out and play as we can.’
Shorey made no bones about the fact there was nothing positive to take from Tuesday’s 3-0 loss at Rochdale.
The half-hearted defending was a real low after recent improvements, with four clean sheets in six games.
The failure of players to execute instructions was reflected in Barker’s demeanour after the game, as he conducted his press duties.
But Shorey believes that has to be put to bed now, as Pompey prepare to travel to Newport County on Saturday.
He said: ‘We have to cut out the silly mistakes because we have looked tight recently.
‘We didn’t help ourselves on Tuesday night. They had the desire to win headers in the box more than us.
‘We aren’t going to start pointing fingers, though.
‘We have to stick together and turn things around. It’s about Saturday now.
‘There was nothing to take from Tuesday’s game.
‘There were no positives. All the lads would say the same. We need to forget about that and produce a better display at Newport.
– JORDAN CROSS