Howard calls on Pompey to stay united

122823_CARLISLE_PFC_25/8/12''Chris Chantler and (right) Brain Howard. 'Npower League 1, match Carlisle United V Portsmouth FC at Carlisle. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (122823-266)

122823_CARLISLE_PFC_25/8/12''Chris Chantler and (right) Brain Howard. 'Npower League 1, match Carlisle United V Portsmouth FC at Carlisle. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (122823-266)

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Brian Howard has called on everyone connected with Pompey to stick together after another tumultous week for the club.

The Blues suffered their first league defeat of the season in a 4-2 loss at Carlisle.

That followed more uncertainty off the pitch, with Portpin back in the frame to take charge of the Blues once again.

Howard insisted the latest takeover twist did not affect the players at Brunton Park.

But with the club’s future still unclear – and on the back of their maiden League One defeat – the skipper feels it’s imperative everyone connected with Pompey pulls in the same direction.

Howard said: ‘Everyone is against us at the minute. So if we can stick together as staff, players, supporters and be as one, when teams play us – especially at Fratton Park – they’ll be nervous playing against our crowd.

‘We need to keep them onside as much as possible. We can keep them onside by winning games and we need to get wins on the board.’

After being cheered on by more than 500 loyal Blues who made the long trip to Cumbria, the former Barnsley midfielder added: ‘I thought the fans were great again.

‘They’ve been superb and we can’t be thinking too much about what happens off the pitch.

‘We’ve got to do our jobs on it and the powers that be will sort it out. It’s something I don’t want to get involved in. I don’t really know what’s best for the club.

‘It’s in Trevor Birch’s hands so Trevor Birch talks to the gaffer and the gaffer filters it down to us.

‘But we’ve got to concentrate on what’s going on on the pitch rather than what’s happening elsewhere.’

Howard was upset Pompey could not follow up from their impressive display in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Colchester. The 29-year-old thought a busy week of travelling played its part in that. However, Howard pinpointed complacency as the biggest factor.

He said: ‘It’s been a long week. Not making excuses but everyone’s legs are tired.

‘We’ve got a small squad and haven’t got the opportunity to freshen things up.

‘You’re basically bringing on kids so it’s good to get a week’s break and a week’s training.

‘I think there was a touch of complacency because we passed the ball so well (at Colchester).

‘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.’