Boss: Players need to follow the fans’ lead

Guy Whittingham
Guy Whittingham

Guy Whittingham admits he is trying to get Pompey’s players to take a leaf out of their supporters’ book.

More than 1,500 Blues fans turned in another memorable performance in the 5-0 loss at Swindon, maintaining their sense of humour in the face of the team’s capitulation.

Whittingham’s three sons were also in the away end and have been bitten by the Pompey bug.

But the caretaker boss is still attempting to educate some of the players on exactly what it means to play for this club.

Whittingham said: ‘I get emotional when I talk about the fans.

‘A couple of times I looked up at them during the Swindon game and they were just incredible.

‘When the team is 5-0 down and the fans chant “Let’s pretend we’ve scored a goal” and they all go off – that’s amazing.

‘My sons Joss, Max and Alfie were at the back, in with the away fans.

‘They all want to go in there and be with them because they all enjoy it so much.

‘They have got the fever and they love being among them and cheering like they do.

‘That’s what we’ve got to do with the players.

‘They need to know how these fans will back them, despite the result, as long as the performance is the right kind of performance.’

Whittingham’s connection to the club stretches back to 1989.

And while Pompey’s current run of 13 matches without a victory is painful, the caretaker Blues boss believes he knows exactly what the supporters want – and is doing everything in his power to deliver it.

He said: ‘You love the club and you hopefully have an affinity with the fans.

‘You know what they want and that’s what we are trying to give them.

‘They want someone out there who will run around, put their foot in, get their head on things, throw their body on the line and hopefully score a goal at the other end and we can all cheer for it.

‘Ultimately, they want players who will give their all for this football club – we know that.

‘We tell the players that and we are still striving for that 90 minutes when people can do that.’