Captain issues call to arms ahead of Latics clash

Brian Howard wants the return of 'proper Pompey' against Oldham   Picture: Barry Zee
Brian Howard wants the return of 'proper Pompey' against Oldham Picture: Barry Zee
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Brian Howard called on Pompey to put right their first League One defeat – at fortress Fratton.

The Blues captain believes his side have the chance to turn Fratton Park into a formidable place for teams to visit in the English game’s third tier.

And he wants to see an intimidating atmosphere help reap his side’s first victory of the campaign against Oldham tomorrow.

Howard said: ‘The fans have been right behind us at Fratton. I think we can turn it into a right fortress this year.

‘Hopefully they can come and back us again and we can put in a proper Pompey performance.’

Pompey’s defeat at Carlisle arrived with defensive lapses proving critical.

The hosts also got stuck into Howard’s side from the outset and forced them on to the back foot.

The 29-year-old knows Pompey can ill afford to start so slowly tomorrow against the Latics.

He believes a lack of experience was evident as Michael Appleton’s side were given a rude awakening to League One football at Brunton Park.

Now the challenge is to use that loss as a wake-up call tomorrow.

Howard said: ‘We’ve got to be brighter and we’ve got to be sharper.

‘Maybe people just thought we could turn up and win games but it doesn’t work like that.

‘People out there have got to learn that quick.

‘If you look through our squad and see how many league games people have played, it’s not that many.

‘It’s a big wake-up call for a lot of the players.

‘If they’ve patted themselves on the back and thought it was going to be easy putting on the shirt, they’ve seen they’ve got to work for it.’