Tom Naylor: Togetherness is better than ever in Portsmouth squad

Tom Naylor believes the current togetherness within the Pompey squad is the best it’s been during his time at the club.

Sunday, 10th November 2019, 6:00 am
Tom Naylor, right, celebrates with team-mates Ellis Harrison and John Marquis during the win over Southend Picture: Robin Jones

The Blues have endured a largely frustrating start to the campaign, with their bid for promotion back to the Championship coming unstuck before really taking off.

But captain Naylor has insisted that’s not had a negative impact on the morale amongst the playing squad at Fratton Park.

Pompey have won just five of their opening 15 League One fixtures, after suffering play-off semi-final defeat to Sunderland last term.

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Jackett’s troops did climb two places to 13th in the table with a 4-1 victory over Southend last time out – their biggest win in the third tier this season.

But even after the triumph against Sol Campbell’s Shrimpers, they still find themselves seven places and five points adrift of the play-off positions.

It’s in stark contrast to where Pompey sat in the League One standings at this same point a year ago.

Back then the Blues were three points clear of Sunderland at the summit of the table, having lost just once in 17 league games.

But despite an incredibly different look in terms of their League One position, Naylor says the spirit remains high in the squad.

In fact, the man who arrived from Burton in the summer of 2018, believes the togetherness at this moment in time is the best he’s experienced during his time with Pompey.

Naylor said: ‘The spirit has never been below-par.

‘The positivity and togetherness in the side is probably more than ever, really.

‘Everyone wants to do the same thing and no-one has put down tools, which is good as a team.

‘The morale is still there – sometimes at other clubs it can go.

‘But we’re fully behind everyone and we need to do that on the pitch.

‘At different clubs there are different mindsets of people.

‘When you look at people thinking they don’t want it as much as other people it can be frustrating, because if you’re putting the work in on the pitch and people aren’t doing it around you, it’s hard to take.

‘But as a club, everyone is doing a job and everyone is working hard.

‘It’s always nice to see.’

Naylor revealed the squad are close away from the training pitch as well.

The former Burton man and his team-mates meet up regularly off-the-field.

‘Sometimes we go out together, we have little groups who just go out and have food together, which is always good,’ Naylor added.

‘Obviously, you can’t always be with each because you’re together every single day.

‘You’ve still got your lives outside of football, which is important.

‘It’s important to be with the lads every now and again.

‘Every couple of weeks or three weeks we go out as a team and have a laugh.

‘The spirits are always high and that’s good to have.’