Pompey spirit never been better

Share this article
Jamal Lowe. Picture: Mark Robinson

Pompey v Blackpool: pre-match talking points

Pompey's team spirit has never been better.

That is the verdict of Danny Webber, who is adamant the tight-knit nature of the current squad outstrips that of Avram Grant's reign.

That camaraderie instilled by the Israeli was credited as the driving force behind Pompey's march to the FA Cup final last season.

Webber, who is currently on the way back from injury, was part of that dressing room.

But he feels this season's Fratton togetherness eclipses that.

Under Steve Cotterill, the Blues have risen to 12th in the Championship, regardless of continued off-the-field problems.

Despite being unable to play so far this campaign because of a knee injury, Webber has still been involved with the Pompey squad.

And the 28-year-old insists the bond is even stronger than last term.

He said: 'The gaffer's a big reason why there is a lot of togetherness at the club, which wasn't as apparent last year. He has said from day one we are almost like a family. We win together, we lose together, we draw together.

'There is not just XI people on the pitch. There is the staff, the fans – everybody – and everybody is brought into that. It's exciting to be a part of.

'It's a good atmosphere to be involved in – a better atmosphere than last year and that is down to the gaffer.

'You can see from the work ethic, the work rate, everybody wants to work that little bit extra for their friend and team-mate because they care a lot more now.

'There are no individuals, there is no-one on a personal crusade. Everybody is pulling in the same direction. Nobody is searching for headlines, they are working for each other.

'Of course, we were together last year, but since the gaffer came in it has been emphasised even more so and taken it to another level.

'A few of us who were here last year have been through the adversities and everything that went on and come out of the other side stronger.

'We are a real close-knit bunch.'

Webber is currently closing in on a return at the end of January following cruciate ligament damage.

Despite his injury, he has remained heavily involved in Cotterill's set-up, witnessing at first hand the team spirit.

And he believes plenty is possible this season with the togetherness.

He added: 'We have been through a lot. The amount of times everybody thought they were out of a job, but everybody has pulled together. It has been a collective effort.

'Now we have a football club running better with a good work ethic and, hopefully, building the foundations to have a good club running well in the Premier League in the future.

'It's a good thing to know when you are going on to the pitch. Everybody is pulling in the same direction and it can only come from the top.'