Taylor: Pompey must handle great expectations

Ryan Taylor. 'Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Taylor. 'Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Striker insists team share fans’ ambitions

Ryan Taylor is convinced Pompey can meet the Fratton faithful’s lofty expectations and insisted: We share the same ambitions.

The Blues turned in a poor display on their last outing on home turf and were booed off at the final whistle of their 2-0 home loss to Shrewsbury.

Every footballer wants to play in front of 15,000 fans. I certainly do and that’s why I came to this club

Ryan Taylor

The limp performance against a decent outfit raised questions over whether the current side can handle the pressure of playing in front of big crowds in a team that should be aiming for promotion, rather than languishing in mid-table.

But they were much improved at Carlisle on Good Friday and should have won the game, only to concede a last-gasp equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Andy Awford’s side will now be looking to put that right when they host play-off chasing Plymouth Argyle today.

And the striker knows Pompey now need to rediscover their swagger at Fratton Park.

Taylor said: ‘In the last game against Shrewsbury, the crowd were disappointed and I understand that but nobody was more disappointed than us.

‘It was a tough loss to take but now it’s up to us to go out there and show that we are all still fighting for everything in every game we play.

‘Every footballer wants to play in front of 15,000 fans. I certainly do and that’s why I came to this club.

‘The amount of fans we get at home and away is massive and personally, I thrive off that as a player.

‘I can’t speak for the other players, but I enjoy playing in front of so many fans.

‘But I don’t think any player would come out and say they don’t like playing in front of 15-16,000 fans.

‘I’ve never come across anyone who felt like that in my career.

‘I look back at when I came in January, the club was not in a very good place and struggling for results but the fans were still coming in their droves to support the team.

‘To me, that says it all about them.’

While it’s a very different club to the one that was in the Premier League, there are some supporters that still find it hard to accept the reality of the club’s slide down the divisions in recent times.

But even though the Blues so nearly went out of existence, many are also well within their rights to believe the climb back should have gathered more pace after two seasons in League Two.

Taylor said: ‘We’re in League Two and the fans expect us to get out of this league.

‘The club is used to being in the Premier League, they won the FA Cup and they are used to big things, so there is always going to be pressure.

‘We think the same as players and I enjoy that pressure.’

Pompey go into today’s showdown looking for only their second win in nine games after a disappointing run.

And Taylor agrees with the vast majority of Blues fans who feel the campaign has not met their hopes and ambitions.

He said: ‘We had a good finish to last season and expectation crept up again.

‘Then we had a good start to this season but then things dropped off again.

‘It’s been a bit of a topsy-turvy season but we need to take something from these last few games.’