Whittingham: I’m convinced I can do the job

Guy Whittingham is confident he can succeed as Pompey boss - if the club can get back on an even keel
Guy Whittingham is confident he can succeed as Pompey boss - if the club can get back on an even keel
Theo Widdrington in action for Pompey's reserves against Everton Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey talents to go head to head

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Guy Whittingham believes his stint in caretaker charge of Pompey has convinced him he can do the job full-time.

The Blues boss is in his second spell as stand-in boss after taking the joint position alongside Stuart Gray following Steve Cotterill’s departure in October 2011.

After ruling himself out quickly that time because he felt he needed more experience, Whittingham says he is now ready for the job – if the club can ever get itself back on an even keel.

And that’s despite a tough run which has seen the ex-Blues striker yet to taste victory from 17 matches in charge.

Whittingham said: ‘Doing the job has convinced me more that I can do it, but then you think “we haven’t won a blinking game yet so let’s not get carried away!”

‘I think there are reasons behind that. At the moment, we are not giving ourselves the same fair chance as all of the rest of the professional teams in this league.

‘You can think “we should be winning games” but then others will say that you have to look at the situation at the club. Of course, it doesn’t help that all of this is still going on with the administration.

‘But you are out there to win games and when you don’t, you think long and hard about whether we should have done this, that and the other.

‘You can be harsh on yourself at times because when you don’t win games, you ask yourself “there must be something we could have done better”.’

Whittingham, who took temporary charge in November, is looking to break his duck at Oldham tomorrow.

In tandem with assistant Andy Awford, he has since overseen a change in style that has made Pompey far tougher to break down and more defensively sound.

And Whittingham has also brought in players he believes would be good enough to lead Pompey out of League Two next season – if and when their relegation from League One is confirmed.

He said: ‘There are a lot of ifs. But with maybe one or two more additions, I think this squad would be good enough next season.

‘If you had a chance to work with them for six weeks in pre-season, I’d like to think we would get off to a pretty good start and go from there.’

While Whittingham would dearly love to get Pompey playing a more expansive brand of football, he feels his options are limited at present.

‘We got to a stage where we were thinking “we’ve got to win a game, we’ve got to win a game”,’ he said.

‘We were trying to be positive in the way we attacked but then we decided to make sure we didn’t concede first and foremost.

‘I know some people might not want to see us not creating many chances to score. But if you are competitive and well organised at the back, it gives us a chance to win games 1-0.

‘The key is being competitive. So we’ll go to Oldham with the same attitude.’