'The most influential fans in League One': Portsmouth boss urges squad newcomers to embrace Fratton Park's power

Pompey’s new boys have been handed a crucial message: Harnessing the Fratton roar’s power is pivotal to achieving success.

Friday, 5th August 2022, 11:30 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 1:08 pm

With nine fresh faces among their ranks, albeit one of which is Blues fan Marlon Park, Danny Cowley has been keen to convey the importance of home comforts.

As a consequence, preparations for Saturday’s first Fratton Park match of the season involved educating their summer signings on the stadium’s ‘unique’ capabilities.

The full Blues squad were addressed by Cowley on Thursday morning at their training ground base.

And he’s hoping all his players have taken on board such advice ahead of Lincoln’s visit.

Cowley told The News: ‘We are really excited about being back at Fratton Park on Saturday.

‘Last season it felt like the connection grew and grew, we managed to pick up eight wins and two draws in the last 10 games.

Danny Cowley celebrates with the Fratton faithful after the dramatic 3-2 success over Wigan in April. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘We spoke to the players on Thursday morning on the impact and influence that supporters can have on our performances at Fratton Park, that feeling of them being able to suck the ball into the goal.

‘The talk was about how we can energise the crowd, what we can do to get the supporters on the edge of their seats and, ultimately, right behind us.

‘Like any relationship, it’s always a two-way thing. We know we have to initiate it with the way we play and ensure we have that intensity and power. If we can do that then we know they’ll then get behind us.

‘This is important for us because of the way we like to play the game – we need them to fuel us and drive our energy.

‘Out of all the supporters in this division, I honestly believe ours can have the biggest influence on the outcome of games. It’s a unique ground.

‘It never feels 11 v 11 at Fratton – and that’s always a big advantage to us.’

Pompey are undefeated at Fratton Park since a 2-1 loss to Charlton in January.

The subsequent upturn in form ensured Cowley’s men finished the League One season strongly, albeit disappointingly still missing out on play-off qualification.

He added: ‘It would be naive of us not to discuss it and see it as an important part of our preparation going into our first home game.

‘When you are preparing for an opponent, you try not to leave any stone unturned.

‘Building that connection with our supporters at Fratton Park is obviously a very important part of the success we’re hoping to have this season.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Whether you're gazing out over the Mediterranean or spending this summer at home, take advantage of our 50% discount on an annual sports or regular digital subscription, from just £25!

We will be on the ball with all the latest Pompey news, match coverage, off-the-pitch features, and analysis from Fratton Park all year round.

Purchase your annual digital package and use promo code SUMSP50 at checkout.