Ertl sees the bigger Pompey picture

Johnny Ertl. Picture: Joe Pepler
Johnny Ertl. Picture: Joe Pepler

Johnny Ertl believes players have to look at the bigger picture if Pompey are to achieve their ambitions this season.

The Austrian turned in one of his best displays for the club in the 3-1 win at Yeovil in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a commanding performance at centre-back.

Based on form, he probably deserves to stay in the side for Sunday’s televised trip to early League Two leaders Burton Albion.

But Ertl knows he is by no means guaranteed to retain his place in the line-up.

After he was discarded by former Blues boss Richie Barker, he has forced his way back into the plans under Andy Awford but has still had to bide his time for his opportunities this term.

While he prefers to focus on the future, Ertl has clearly bought into the group mentality that has developed at Pompey – even if that means he needs to be patient for his first-team chances.

Ertl said: ‘I don’t look back at the past too much.

‘But you go through ups and downs in your career.

‘The chapter has been ticked off and now I am looking forward.

‘Now we are all in the same boat.

‘Everyone knew what was going on at the start of the season.

‘We have a lot of players but you have got to show a little bit of commitment and patience – that is the key.

‘Everyone will be in this position in football at some point.

‘If players are not involved, they are on the bench or they are on the pitch, you still need to pull in the same direction.

‘The manager made it clear that he was going to upset or disappoint people this season.

‘But now we all feel like we are part of the plans and everyone will get their chance.

‘It’s not about individuals or selfishness. But we are seeing the bigger picture now.’

Aside from the progress that Pompey have made on the pitch, Ertl believes the club will now be in a better position to succeed with firm foundations finally being put down.

He said: ‘We had that really good spirit when the club got taken over going into the new season a year ago.

‘Then the perspective changed and it was difficult.

‘But the club wasn’t ready for a top-10 finish last season.

‘This season, we have learned from the past and it has improved all sorts of things.

‘We are going to move into our own training ground at some point.

‘I have trained all over Portsmouth. I don’t think I could count on both hands everywhere I have trained.

‘I saw Eastney Barracks, Southsea seafront and I’ve been at the old training ground at Eastleigh.

‘To have our training complex that belongs to Pompey is a dream.

‘It is more settled and that’s what you need as a club if you want to achieve things.’