Fans' unwavering support of Portsmouth evident - but what makes them turn up week in, week out?

The Pompey fans’ loyalty is showing no signs of wavering.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 12:59 pm
Pompey fans have been unwavering in their support Picture: Habibur Rahman

Despite a less than impressive start to the 2019-20 season, supporters have been turning out in their thousands to be the Blues’ 12th man.

This week saw the club sell out their allocation of tickets to forthcoming away days at AFC Wimbledon and Bristol Rovers – and that’s after more than 2,000 made the recent trip to Wycombe.

We, of course, all know what happened at Adams Park, with a significant portion of Pompey fans venting their frustration at manager Kenny Jackett as the Blues suffered a 1-0 defeat.

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However, in the two home games that followed, consecutive 18,000-plus home gates were recorded as fans refused to give up on their team – despite the obvious problems on the pitch.

In fact, Pompey's average crowd for league games at Fratton Park this season currently sits at 18,078.

That got us wondering why certain fans put themselves through it each week at a time when the Blues are proving to be a difficult watch.

Here’s what members of three supporters’ club had to say about the fans’ unwavering loyalty and the start Pompey have made to the season...

John Marquis cuts a frustrated figure

Northern Blues Supporters’ Club secretary – David Richardson

The fans always will continue to come out in their numbers.

If things are really, really bad you lose a few, but those are the ones you’re not too worried about losing really.

Most of the fans are there because of who we are and what we’ve been through.

There have been many times when the supporters have turned on a manager.

We were third when they turned on Paul Cook.

We’re just quite fickle in some ways – although we turn up all the time, our expectations are a bit too high.

We overachieved last season.

It was just in the last 10 games or so where we were just too tired, we played too many games.

To be fair we weren’t good enough to go up, we had a lot of lucky wins.

But we’re not getting the luck this season.

The team just hasn’t gelled yet and there are potentially some issues.

What the fans like to see is a manager that is animated, but you don’t get that from Kenny.

If we were up at the top and winning, no-one would be saying anything.

But there appears to be a lack of passion at the moment.

I don’t believe you should change a manager during in the season.

But I don’t necessarily believe he is the right person to take us up.

All the time Jackett is there, I’ll stick with him.

Pompey Disabled Supporters Association chairman - Basher Benfield

It’s been an average start to the season.

But we’ve got these games in hand so if we win them we’re back in and around the play-off places.

After the play-off disappointment last season, it’s probably a start to be expected.

We’ve been on a bit of a form decline since losing on Boxing Day at Gillingham last year.

We never really played that well after that defeat.

And it’s been a steady decline since then.

If you look a Kenny Jackett’s record in 2019, it’s not great and far from the best we’ve had.

We’ve lost some silly games and drawn some silly ones as well.

It’s all about confidence at the moment.

We’re not a bad team, the luck just doesn’t seem to be with us at this moment.

There’s no point in getting on the players’ backs, it’s not going to make them any better.

All we need is a couple of wins and we’ll be okay.

We’ve got to start looking upwards.

We were top of the league for ages last season, but never went up.

Let’s just see where we are at Christmas.

If the results are not improving by then, it’s time to reassess.

Central Branch Supporters Club chairman – Roy Gregory

In simple terms as a supporters’ club, we’re always behind the team.

There appears to be a lack of togetherness so far this season, whether that is down to new signings or a lack of games, but we hope it will improve as time goes on.

You have to be behind the club at this point.

There’s still enough time for things to start turning around.

We just need to come together.

If we stay behind the team and the manager, it will turn around.