NO-ONE could say being Pompey manager over the past year has been a piece of cake.
But Guy Whittingham yesterday spoke of his pride at guiding the Blues through a tumultuous past 12 months, as he officially celebrated a year in the Fratton hot seat.
The Blues stared into the abyss as they fought for their existence before becoming the biggest fan-owned club in the United Kingdom.
Now Whittingham is looking to mark his anniversary with an FA Cup celebration at Stevenage.
Whittingham reflected on the past year with a wry smile.
He said: ‘It’s been a pretty quiet year, really!
‘Seriously, there have been a lot of special moments. Getting the phone call from the chairman saying we are safe (from liquidation), when it really could have gone either way, was such a relief.
‘Trevor Birch asking me to come in was a privilege. The match at Crewe when we got our first win, and the late goal at Coventry when we stopped the rot stand out, too.
‘You have to think of the dark times, when you didn’t know what was happening day to day.
‘To remain competitive was a great achievement.
‘Then there was the Sheffield United game after the news of the takeover – a wonderful occasion to be involved in.
‘And there’s this season and how things are, generally, going quite well because of all the hard work people put in. But I’ve enjoyed it. How could I not enjoy being here?’
Whittingham knows Stevenage will be out to spoil the party tomorrow with a physical approach.
He said: ‘You have to be ready (for a scrap) if need be.
‘You have to win the right to play. That will certainly be the case at Stevenage.’