Liam Walker geared up for a testing derby with Bournemouth and told fans: We need to put smiles back on your faces.
Walker reminded supporters and his Pompey team-mates there’s ‘no comparison’ between the two sides in terms of stature as they prepare for the trip to Dean Court tomorrow.
But it is the Cherries who are riding high in League One as the two clubs prepare to face off.
Eddie Howe’s outfit have suffered just two defeats in 23 games – picking up a hugely-impressive 15 wins in that time.
Pompey, in contrast, stand on the brink of an unwanted double going into the game.
Defeat tomorrow will see the Blues equal a club-record 19-game winless run and also match their all-time worst nine losses on the bounce – set in the 1975-76 season under then-manager Ian St John.
Walker knows the fans are suffering as Pompey’s plight continues on and off the pitch.
He recognises it must be hard for them to see the club they love tumble down the leagues, as the Blues fight to stay alive.
The midfielder wants to see some fire in the squad and told his team-mates to remember the size of club they are playing for.
Walker said: ‘Fans want us to win every game and everyone in the squad wants to win.
‘Bournemouth are fourth in the league and doing really well.
‘We have to go out with an attitude to win the game. We have to do that no matter what is happening.
‘We need to give the fans something to be happy about, something to cheer them up.
‘But the history of the club and where it’s been, there’s no comparison.
‘The fans want to see this club back up where it deserves to be.
‘League One isn’t where it should be and it especially shouldn’t be League Two.
‘They are within their rights to see the club back where it was.
‘The players want to be there, too.’
Walker was brought back into the starting XI at Scunthorpe on Tuesday night after an impressive second-half showing against Colchester last weekend.
The 24-year-old rewarded that decision with some set-piece mastery, as he delivered a classy 25-yard dead-ball effort to pull the game level in first-half stoppage time – his first goal for the club.
The match was just Walker’s seventh start since arriving at Pompey in the summer, after impressing in a pre-season clash for Gibraltar.
The clamour has been growing for Walker to be given an extended run in the side and bring some creative quality to a side which has often lacked a spark on their winless run.
The schemer is keeping his fingers crosses that will be the case.
Walker said: ‘I want to be out there every game. I enjoy being out there.
‘The games come along and Guy (Whittingham) picks the best team to play that game. It’s up to him. I can’t pick it for him so I stick at it.
‘I’m here to do our job when called upon.
‘The gaffer has to pick a team on the game we’ve got. So I need to keep working and take the chance when I do get it.’