DANNY HOLLANDS told his team-mates it’s up to them to save their manager’s job.
The Pompey captain has called on his squad to alleviate the pressure building on Andy Awford ahead of the League Two visit of Morecambe.
Awford admitted his position as Blues boss is under scrutiny going into a huge clash at Fratton Park tomorrow.
The FA Cup defeat to local Conference Premier rivals Aldershot marked a low ebb to his reign as manager.
But Hollands believes the onus falls squarely on the shoulders of Pompey’s players to turn things around.
He said: ‘The manager can’t affect what happens on the pitch.
‘If we were playing badly week-in, week-out and not getting results you’d understand people saying it (was the manager’s fault). But that’s not the case, so that’s not down to the manager. He can’t change that.
‘The manager is setting us up, but when we cross the white line it’s down to us. So it’s down to us to put things right.
‘At the end of the day, it’s down to the players to sort that out, be strong and turn the results around.
‘The manager looks after us so it’s about time we stood up and looked after him.
‘It’s easy for people to say we aren’t good enough, but when you look at the players in the squad it’s not the case.
‘You can’t go and win games like we did at the end part of last season and then go to this.
‘After Oxford, people were talking about us winning the league.
‘You don’t become bad players overnight.
‘You have form and dips but the good players bounce back when things aren’t going well.
‘That’s the sign of a good player. When things aren’t going well they roll their sleeves up and put things right.’
Pompey are desperate to improve a run of one win from their past five games against the Shrimps tomorrow.
Jim Bentley’s side have punched above their weight with a decent start, and go into the game in eighth place.
They turned over Bury last weekend, but lost their previous three outings
Hollands said: It’s a big game and they are a good team.
‘But we have to stick together and get a result.
‘The Aldershot game will hurt for a long time, but we have a game to start putting it right now.
‘We have to get over this and do it together sooner rather than later.
‘It’s never nice losing to lower opposition and getting beaten, especially in the manner it was.
‘We have to be on our game to start putting it right tomorrow, whoever that may be.
‘The league is the main concern and getting the results to push us forward is what is needed.
‘Whoever takes to the pitch has to be ready to start putting things right.’