Catlin calls for Pompey patience

Reuben Sammut

Pompey bide their time over midfielder

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Mark Catlin has called on the Fratton faithful not to become distracted by ‘unhealthy expectations’.

Some supporters are already voicing concerns over the season ahead on the pitch.

This after just two league games, which have left Pompey looking for that first win.

It’s an early knee-jerk reaction which is clearly not shared by the majority of Blues followers.

However, there are fans who believe Guy Whittingham’s new-look squad should be challenging at the top of the table.

That view is also shared by bookies, who made Pompey the favourites for promotion back in May.

But Catlin believes a sense of realism must be shown as the community-owned club is rebuilt on and off the field of play.

He said: ‘I was in the boardroom on Saturday and Guy came in and we said “well done” – but he was really badly disappointed.

‘He wants to win every game, of course he does, but at this time of the season I just think it is always going to take a little while to settle.

‘I have read and heard criticism already and it’s incredible really. But that’s football.

‘You have not got to be too high when you have highs and not be too low when you have lows.

‘There has been hype – mainly from the bookies – and there are also expectation levels from the crowd at what has been created off the field.

‘That has meant in some cases unhealthy expectations for first few games on the field.

‘We must remember we now have a slightly above mid-table budget and in life you generally get what you pay for.

‘So let’s not panic, calm down and wait for the squad to start gelling.

‘The press, management team, backroom, players, it’s in built into us to have this expectation at Pompey.

‘But there is a degree of realism that has to be in there as well.

‘For me the biggest disappointment I’ve had in football was getting beat against Oxford on the opening day of the season.

‘It seemed written in the stars we would win.

‘But it was one game of football.

‘I still think we will be a team looking at the top half of the table. That is what Guy is expecting.’

Whittingham has added 11 new faces to his squad this summer, the majority tied up before the end of May.

In addition, five of the players who featured last season on temporary deals have returned on a permanent basis.

Only Jed Wallace, Dan Butler, Adam Webster and Ashley Harris were contracted to the club at the end of last term.

Now the revamped squad must gain an understanding.