TREVOR CARSON paid homage to Pompey fans for keeping their club alive ahead of his Fratton return.
Carson will be back at his old stomping ground in goal for Cheltenham tonight.
The 27-year-old made 40 appearances for the Blues on loan from Bury last season.
But he moved to Whaddon Road in the summer, when no permanent deal arose under Andy Awford.
The Northern Ireland age-group international has nothing but happy memories of his time at Fratton Park.
And he lauded the followers of Pompey for keeping their club alive, as they became the United Kingdom’s biggest community club.
Carson said: ‘It was a great experience at Portsmouth.
‘It was bit disappointing where we finished with the size of the club and the players we had.
‘But we finished on a high after being in a bit of trouble.
‘Overall, it was a great experience and I’ll look back on it with nothing but fond memories.
‘I made a few good friends and the fans are great.
‘It’s incredible. They have continued to support their club and they are the reason the club is still going.
‘They could easily have thrown the towel in but they’ve stood by the club massively.
‘The supporters own the club and they are the reason the club is still going,’
Carson admitted he has been unable to answer his team-mates’ questions on what the experience of playing at Fratton Park is going to be like.
He feels they will have to step out under the lights tonight to find out.
Carson added: ‘The lads here asked me what it’s like there.
‘But you can’t really explain until you get there.
‘There are players who have played in the Uefa Cup there for AC Milan, and they are saying what a great atmosphere it is.
‘So, for a League Two player to go there and experience it is fantastic.
‘Everyone is looking forward to it.’
Carson reiterated he has no hard feelings on not inking a deal with Pompey, despite believing a deal could have been in the offing.
He said: ‘I’ve said it before – it’s football.
‘I was told at one point there’d be a contract there for me, and there wasn’t in the end.
‘But these things happen all the time.
‘It didn’t materialise, but these things happen for a reason.
‘I’ve come to Cheltenham and enjoyed my time here.’