James Bolton on Portsmouth pressure compared to Shrewsbury and how Blues can get the city 'buzzing'

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James Bolton admits he’s felt the pressure of playing for Pompey. 

But the right-back is adamant it’s just a matter of time before the Blues have Portsea Island ‘buzzing’ again.

Bolton signed a three-year deal at Fratton Park after arriving from Shrewsbury in June. 

Having also represented the likes of Macclesfield, Halifax and Gateshead during his career, he’s now at a club with a significantly larger fan base.

The 25-year-old’s has already experienced the expectations demanded by the Fratton faithful during Pompey's disappointing start to the League One season.

Kenny Jackett’s men languish 19th in the table after garnering just nine points from eight games.

Pompey right-back James Bolton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey right-back James Bolton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Bolton can understand supporter frustrations but reckons there’s too much quality in the squad for Pompey not to start climbing the table. 

He said: ‘One-hundred per cent there is (more pressure).

‘You can sense it around the city and there’s just an aura you feel.

‘In the crowd, there is a little bit of pressure boiling and they’re a little bit frustrated with us as players.

‘You do feel it. But on the other hand, when we’re doing well then you’re going to feel the place buzzing and that’s what you’ve got to look forward to.

‘Hopefully we will turn it around and we’ll be able to feel that real energy and become a real force. 

‘I think it’s only a matter of time. If you look at it, we’ve got a hell of a squad and I just think it’s a matter of time.

‘To be honest, I think we’ve had a bit of bad luck. Once that turns, we’ll keep going, get a run going and push up the table.

‘I think the pressure keeps you alive. No disrespect to the other teams I’ve played for but there’s not the same pressure.

‘This is a massive club and a lot of fans come to every game. It is different, I can’t lie, but I’m looking forward to us hopefully turning it around.

‘You can understand the fans’ frustrations but I’m sure we can turn it around.’

Bolton also experienced similar struggles at Shrewsbury last season after they’d been beaten in the play-off final the previous campaign. 

The Shrews overachieved in 2017-8, though, while the former Stoke youth ace reckons Pompey are currently too far down the standings. 

He added: ‘It was a bit of a weird one, going from doing really well to being in the relegation zone at Shrewsbury.

‘We had to adjust to expectations and that’s one thing, but this club should be doing a lot better than it is.’