Teenage Kicks: Back the boys like only Pompey fans can

Pompey fans. Picture: Joe PeplerPompey fans. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey fans. Picture: Joe Pepler
It appears our season is coming to a crossroads.

And by that I mean the fans, not the players.

If we want to build up a head of steam going into the crucial Christmas period, which usually defines a side’s season, then players, management and staff alike need to be singing off the same hymn sheet.

It must be made clear, we are well on course to achieve our aim of promotion.

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As pointed out on social media this week, only one of the four sides promoted last season were in the automatic promotion spots at this point last year.

What is crucial is Pompey stay in and among those pulling away from the chasing pack.

Because if you are in the chasing pack your odds on promotion are much longer.

The teams from sixth and seventh down to lower mid-table fight it out for the play-off places – and as we found out in the 2014-15 season, for most clubs it ends in failure.

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We are among the teams pulling away and we must continue to push on.

Pompey are five points above seventh.

A string of wins and we will propel ourselves into second.

But our season will not hit full pelt if we, the fans, do not back the players like only Pompey fans can.

We will shoot ourselves in the foot if we do not get behind Paul Cook.

If you pay your money, you are entitled to your opinion, but fans, players and staff alike all want the same thing – to play in League One next year.

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Therefore, I’d urge Pompey fans to back the players in an undivided fashion during 90 minutes.

Because we can influence the play in Pompey’s favour, we can intimidate the opposition.

Let’s not intimidate our own players, instead.

Let’s give them the platform to express themselves and entertain.

Ripples of boos will achieve nothing.

I cannot fathom how these pantomime antics can prompt the side to play better.

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And I cannot work out why Pompey’s performance warranted such discontent.

We were creating chances and playing free-flowing football in the second half.

And once Mansfield condemned themselves to a training exercise, it was clear the plan was to tire the Stags out by making them chase shadows, then exploit the space.

And that is what the Blues did, putting away three goals in the dying embers.

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I appreciate the nerves surrounding a 1-0 lead, it is never safe, no matter the circumstances.

But some in the stands need to question their motives if they felt the need to jeer.

Be careful what you wish for!

We are lucky to have Paul Cook, I am sure of that.

There are job vacancies popping up all over the place at the moment.

Do not doubt our manager would be sought after – and for good reason.

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So judge Cook at the end of the season. Until then, we must back the team with passionate, positive support.

Ben Sturt is 17 years old and has been a season-ticket holder in the Fratton End for more than a decade.

He writes a weekly column in the Sports Mail where he discusses the key talking points at Pompey – from the perspective of a younger supporter.