Howard: Blues supporters are major weapon

Brian Howard in action at Aldershot. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122542-387)
Brian Howard in action at Aldershot. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122542-387)
Former Pompey loanee Joe Mattock celebrates his winner against Pompey Picture: Joe Pepler

What we learnt from Pompey’s defeat at Rotherham

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Brian Howard believes Pompey fans’ latest remarkable show of support is proof of the club’s potential.

The midfielder is hoping to sign a permanent contract at Fratton Park.

And he was blown away by the fact more than 1,000 Blues fans made the trip to Aldershot Town for a pre-season friendly in midweek.

While a makeshift Pompey team packed with triallists and youngsters earned a decent 1-0 win, Howard is expecting a very different test from Bolton tomorrow.

Owen Coyle’s side were relegated from the Premier League last season.

But they are expected to mount a strong challenge for promotion in the Championship this term.

Howard said: ‘It’s a good chance for players to play against good opposition.

‘Bolton have got some quality players throughout their team, so it’s an opportunity for us to go up against them.

‘Hopefully the fans will come out again as they did against Aldershot.

‘But that just shows you the size of this club.

‘It’s probably the biggest club in League One and it’s up there with Sheffield United.

‘Someone told me they have sold 7,000 season tickets, which is incredible with what has gone on at this club.’

Howard also believes the home support inside Fratton Park will be Pompey’s key weapon this season – provided boss Michael Appleton can bring in the players he needs and some stability can be found.

The former Reading man said: ‘If the gaffer can bring in the players he wants to, then there’s no reason why we can’t do well.

‘If we can turn Fratton Park into a fortress, some players will thrive on it but a lot of teams will come here and crumble against that kind of atmosphere.’

Tickets will be available right up until kick-off for what will be Pompey’s only home friendly of the summer.

Under-17s can watch for just £1, while adults are £10 and seniors (60-plus) and young people (17-22) are just £5.