'There is time for you...' former Portsmouth favourite Paul Merson's hilarious advice to two young Southampton fans following Middlesbrough disappointment

The south coast derby could return next season if Pompey secure promotion back to the Championship and Southampton fail in their bid to return to the Premier League
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Pompey fans of a certain generation still idolise Paul Merson after he guided the Blues to the Premier League back in 2003.

So imagine the extra love he received when the now Sky Sports pundit displayed his loyalty to the Blues live on TV, while also mocking Southampton!

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The former Fratton favourite couldn’t resist the urge to poke fun at Saints after they conceded a crucial late goal at home to Middlesbrough on Friday. Emmanuel Latte Lath's 90th-minute equaliser denied Russell Martin’s side valuable points in the race for automatic promotion back to the Premier League. Indeed, it leaves Southampton fourth in the table - nine points behind second-placed Leeds and 10 behind leaders Ipswich, who beat Blackburn on their return from the international break thanks to Conor Chapln’s ninth-minute strike.

Southampton have two games in hand on both as the Championship promotion race braces itself for an exciting climax. Merson believes the St Mary’s outfit have left it too late to challenge for the top-two positions - claiming it’s the play-off for that lot up the road. However, in a humorous dig at Pompey’s rivals, the now 57-year-old told two new Southampton fans that it wasn’t too late to change their south coast allegiances.

Commenting on the goal that silenced home fans at St Mary’s while appearing on Sky, Merson said ‘Yeah, that looks like that will be it now. It looks like it will be the play-offs for them. And there’s a couple of little kids who went today, their first ever game at Southampton. Young kids. There is time for you to go and support Portsmouth if you want. Come on, Pompey!’

His words have since been lapped up by members of the Fratton faithful, with clips of his commentary viewed hundreds of thousands of times on social media. @PortsmouthBlue wrote on X, formerly Twitter: ‘Truth! Merse knows which team is bigger, has the far better history and wayyyy better fans. Do it now kids. Fratton Park parties and an awesome atmosphere'. @phil72pfc commented: ‘Merse knows , once a blue always a blue'. @PORTSMOUTHFCLEE said: ‘Your not a proper Portsmouth fan if you haven’t liked the Paul Merson video’. Meanwhile, @Davidswindle14 added: ‘Absolute Legend'.

In response to the positive response he’s received from the Blues fans since, the 2002-03  title-winning captain tweeted on Saturday: ‘Play Up Pompey!’