Steve Cotterill believes Pompey’s Championship survival was down to the club’s fans.
The Blues boss is convinced that without the backing of the Fratton faithful, his side would have finished bottom of the Championship.
As it is, safety was assured with 10 games to spare.
Pompey could finish the season in 14th spot if they defeat relegated Scunthorpe on Saturday in the final match of the season.
The Fratton Park campaign came to a close with a televised defeat against Norwich on Monday night.
Regardless, Cotterill and his players used the occasion to take a lap of appreciation in a display of thanks to the supporters.
He has consistently praised their input in what has been another testing season both on and off the pitch.
And the Blues boss is adamant that without their support and the effort of his players, it could have been an even bleaker campaign.
Cotterill said: ‘Without the players and supporters, this football club not only probably could have gone under, it would have been rock bottom of the Championship.
‘At the end of the day, I suppose as a manager it is very important for you to have a good relationship with the players and a good relationship with the supporters.
‘They have been first class from day one for me.
‘Judging from the fans’ reception at the end of the Norwich game, they seemed pretty happy.
‘It was hard doing that lap of appreciation afterwards because a lap of honour is for winners.
‘But we have appreciated what the supporters have done for us this season and wanted to show it.’