Catlin encouraged by omens after ‘slightly below-par’ start

Guy Whittingham has come under fire from a small minority of Pompey fans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham has come under fire from a small minority of Pompey fans. Picture: Joe Pepler
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It has been a ‘slightly below-par’ start to life in League Two, according to Mark Catlin.

Nonetheless, Pompey’s chief executive remains convinced Guy Whittingham’s side will soon begin their ascent of the table.

The Blues currently sit in 15th spot – a position underpinned by three home defeats in four Fratton Park matches, the latest against Fleetwood.

However, they are unbeaten on their travels heading to York on Saturday, with six points from four league away fixtures.

Pompey fans can even view three of those encounters with a shake of the head having dropped points from winning positions – two coming in the form of late equalisers.

Still, the boos from a small minority at the final whistle against the Cod Army reflects an air of disappointment among some.

The first time Pompey had lost a league game with 11 players on the pitch clearly cut very little slack on such an occasion.

And while Catlin admits he expected better in terms of a points haul, he feels there remain plenty of positives.

He said: ‘I would say it is slightly below par as in our results from probably where Guy and the team wanted to be.

‘But I still stick by what I have always said, we have a fantastic team and once they start to click and start to gel we will go on a run and do very well this season.

‘I would say we are three or four points below par from what I expected looking at the first eight games. That is not too far away, though.

‘With respect, one of the reasons for that is the class of competition, especially with the three defeats at home.

‘Those three are in the top four of the current league table – and two of those we lost after being down to 10 men.

‘Maybe we are not ready for those teams at the minute.

‘But as our side grows and maybe if we could strengthen during the season then we will be ready.

‘The football has been good, though, and I totally believe it will click.

‘Like every fan on a Saturday and all-day Sunday there is no-one more down than me.

‘But I do genuinely think we have a good team, good squad, good manager and off the field we have a good team.

‘When you get all the bits in the jigsaw right then it will come together and be alright on the night.’

Crucially for Catlin, the community club ethos remains a constant, despite the on-pitch results.

It is an aspect he feels all have embraced – from management to players – as the club continues to evolve.

He added: ‘They have bought into the Pompey way we want to do things.

‘Guy, Alan McLoughlin and Alan Knight are obviously Pompey legends and a lot of the players are living on the island now taking part in events.

‘It’s a balance to get the Pompey DNA into the club.

‘You want the right people fitting into what we do.’