Month on road will tell Blues where they’re going

Guy Whittingham is ready for a tough run of games. Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham is ready for a tough run of games. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s September on the road will go a long way to shaping their season.

Guy Whittingham believes the dust will begin to settle in League Two over the course of next month.

And that means a testing period for the Blues could prove crucial in seeing what direction their season is headed.

Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Mansfield marked the start of a period of five games from seven away from Fratton Park.

The two home games come against a pair of the early-season pacesetters in the shape of Fleetwood and Chesterfield.

Both of those outfits are among the heavy-hitters in terms of finance when it comes to the English game’s basement tier.

That run also includes three matches on the road in succession, with four in five away in total next month, starting at Torquay in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy next week.

Whittingham thinks his side will have a much better idea of where their season is going by the end of that period.

The Pompey boss is under no illusions the journey could prove a bumpy one.

But he is confident his side will improve as they settle and the campaign wears on.

Whittingham said: ‘We have a tough time coming up now.

‘Four of our next six games are away from home and the two home games are against Chesterfield and Fleetwood.

‘There is also going to be three away games on the bounce along the way as well.

‘So I think by the end of that run we’ll have a good idea of where we are.

‘Four games and five points is okay so far.

‘We are a new team who will get better.

‘People are getting used to each other.

‘It will be the case that, as we go on, we play better.’

Whittingham has given his assessment of Pompey’s start and stated he is content enough with what he’s seen so far.

But he underlined he is mindful it is a new-look squad.

The Blues boss has recruited 12 players so far this summer, with every chance of more to follow.

The Pompey boss has been satisfied in large parts with the displays from his side so far in the league.

A promising 30-minute period against Oxford turned into defeat.

That came after Johnny Ertl was sent off.

Pompey then carved out 27 shots on goal but could only pick up a 2-2 draw at Accrington.

Morecambe were swept side at Fratton Park as three first-half goals ensured the Blues got their first win.

Pompey then saw a lead sacrificed against Mansfield with a strong first 45 minutes not followed up after the break.

Whittingham said: ‘I think it’s all new.

‘We have 12 new players here. If it was three or four in it would be a bit different. We’ve got 12 in.

‘We’re happy with the way it’s going but I think we were a bit disappointed with how it went at Mansfield.

‘But we went there and didn’t get beat.

‘People will find it hard going to places like Mansfield because of the pressure they will put you under.

‘But mid-table so far is a reasonable start.’