Doyle delight at Pompey team spirit

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Summer turnover at Fratton Park saw 14 playing arrivals and 14 depatures
  • Including first-team summer friendlies, Pompey unbeaten in 10 matches under Paul Cook

A summer transformation which yielded 14 new Fratton Park arrivals, with another 14 heading out.

Enough to leave any Pompey fan giddy in their attempts to keep an eye on an ever-rotating squad.

It just feels as though we have played together for a long time on the training ground, even though we are still getting to know each other

Michael Doyle

Regardless, the response has been 10 matches unbeaten for manager Paul Cook, once pre-season first-team friendlies have also been taken into account.

So much for taking time to gel. It certainly contradicts the usual management calls for patience and understanding as a team knits together.

Cook’s much-changed troops have hit the ground running and head into tomorrow’s visit of Morecambe full of confidence.

Skipper Michael Doyle is one of the many newcomers and has been impressed how swiftly the team has bonded off the field of play.

He believes their effectiveness on the pitch is still a work in progress.

Nonetheless, the Irishman is delighted with the team spirit installed so early in their adventure together.

Doyle said: ‘I’m not really surprised how well the players have gelled to be honest with you.

‘It was a long pre-season. Coming back a week earlier helped, and the dressing room has bonded as a result. There are some good characters in there and it’s a good place to be.

‘I’m sure going to Portugal helped. I know a lot of lads worked hard in that week away, but it was more about getting to know each other was well.

‘Personally, I was disappointed not to go, things weren’t quite right at the time for me, but I could see straight away when I came in what the week away had done for them and I think it was massive.

‘It just feels as though we have played together for a long time on the training ground, even though we are still getting to know each other.

‘But there are also some good friendships which have developed over a short period of time.

‘A lot of us have kind of lived together at hotels while not being able to get places to live, and little things like that have probably helped.

‘Such instances have probably made us come closer together quicker. It feels we have been together a long time, which is great.

‘At times it is just getting to know people’s personalities and what way everybody works and how they play.

‘You don’t want to get carried away, but we do seem to have gelled together pretty quickly and I think it makes a difference if you have got good players. Quality will always come through.’

Pompey have granted 13 debuts so far this season, although Brandon Haunstrup was already on the club’s books.

The only newcomers yet to feature for the team since the League Two season began are Kal Naismith and Adam Barton, who have both been troubled by injury.

In addition to the fresh playing faces at Fratton Park, Cook has brought with him assistant manager Leam Richardson and first-team coach Ian Foster.

More new signings may also be on the way, with the Blues keen on recruiting a right-back, a striker and a central defender.

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