Whittingham: Pompey can make rivals worry

Guy Whittingham is demanding more from Pompey   Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham is demanding more from Pompey Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith has not been included in this year's team photo

Striker omitted from Pompey team photo

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Guy Whittingham believes Pompey’s revival has got their relegation rivals worried.

The caretaker Blues boss leads his team to Leyton Orient tonight in search of a third straight League One win.

Although Pompey looked dead and buried recently, as they went 23 games without a victory, they are now eight points from what would normally be safety.

While Whittingham still expects the club’s 10-point deduction to be enforced if his team should somehow climb out of the relegation zone, he is intent on at least making other clubs sweat on their status.

Whittingham said: ‘I am not saying it has turned around – we are a long way from it.

‘We have a few games left and we need to go out and win quite a few more.

‘We shouldn’t settle for just the two and get complacent and think “at least we have achieved something”.

‘We haven’t achieved anything yet.

‘But there is a real fight on to get us up that table a little bit closer in points, so let’s just see.

‘Everybody else looks at us and thinks “well, they are on minus-10 anyway and are going to be going down”.

‘Well, let’s make one or two look around and think “perhaps they are not, perhaps we can’t rest on our laurels and think Pompey are one of the teams down and there are only three other spaces”.

‘We need to keep fighting, we need to keep working hard and, most of all, we need to give our great fans a reason to keep coming.

‘They have been fantastic so far. They have helped us through so much and now we are finally giving them something to smile about. We can’t stop.’

Pompey moved off the foot of the table with a 2-0 success over Bury at the weekend and could climb to third from bottom if other results go their way in a full programme of League One action tonight.

But Whittingham is determined to stay grounded about the Blues’ prospects even though he admits their two victories on the spin have given everyone a much-neeeded lift.

He said: ‘We can’t take anything for granted. We’ve had two wins on the bounce but we’ve got to keep our feet firmly on the floor.

‘Even if we did win every game between now and the end of the season, we’re presuming the minus-10 is still to come so we presume it will be difficult to stay up.

‘Confidence is big in football and it is one of the best players’ assets you can have.

‘There is more of a spring in the step but performances overall have been better of late.

‘I think the base of that was always there. We were always trying to be competitive in games and, if you look back at those games up until the end of January when we weren’t doing very well and losing a few, I think you could pinpoint individual mistakes through a lack of confidence. But it has slowly built back up.’