Connolly delighted as Pompey fans change their tune

Connolly puts Pompey one ahead'Portsmouth V Bury'Npower League One'Fratton Park'9/3/2013 Sat 15:00
Connolly puts Pompey one ahead'Portsmouth V Bury'Npower League One'Fratton Park'9/3/2013 Sat 15:00

David Connolly no longer hears those chants from the Fratton end.

How he despised them, too.

‘We lose every week,’ came the cry from some as soon as the Blues slipped behind.

Gallows humour from beleaguered, yet fiercely loyal, fans keen to brighten up the gloom as they contemplated another defeat.

For Connolly it’s an abiding memory of the bleak Pompey run which culminated in a club-record 23 matches without victory.

These days, two defeats in the past nine matches have not only lifted Guy Whittingham’s men off the foot of League One but reinvigorated the supporters.

Presently ‘we win when we want’ is the favoured tune from Blues followers as the side continue to improve.

Certainly preferable in the ears of a relieved Connolly.

‘There is a bit of hope for the future,’ he said.

‘We are not going out with a whimper.

‘There is nothing worse than the chants being sung when we were losing a goal or two goals.

‘There were songs saying “we lose every week”.

‘I don’t like that, I don’t want to be an embarrassment to myself, the team and my family. It’s about personal pride.

‘I’m glad those chants are not being sung any more.

‘Maybe that’s because there’s now a bit of fight in us – we are not going to roll over and die.

‘We are giving the fans results and they are coming in thinking “we are going to win this week”. That is how you want it to be.

‘I love the fans having a laugh, whether it’s Leyton Orient and “we can see you washing up” or whatever. It’s humour, isn’t it.

‘But if you are a real professional those other songs should hurt you, as does losing every week.

‘No-one prepares all week to get beaten every week and rolled over but now that is not the case.

‘It’s nice we now have that bit of optimism with positive chants and something to hang on to.

‘We are thinking “we are equal to this team so let’s get a result here”’.

Pompey travel to Preston today seeking to extend their encouraging recent run.

Both defeats from the past nine matches came away from home in the form of 1-0 scorelines.

And Connolly believes a crucial change in attitude from the players is behind the improved results of late.

He added: ‘When I first came in there was an acceptance of losing, accepting giving away a pass.

‘I didn’t like how we just seemed to roll over and die, just accepting it.

‘It was like “oh well, I tried my best”.

‘Well, your best sometimes isn’t good enough – you have to try harder and be better.

‘I don’t think that is as much the case anymore.

‘No matter what predicament you are in you have got to have a bit of personal pride and do things to the best of your capabilities.

‘That is more the case now. The lads are more responsible, more demanding and getting a bit more out.’