Boss believes fervent Fratton support will help players settle
Pompey v Oxford might be a League Two fixture – but it certainly won’t feel like one.
Fratton Park will be buzzing for the opening match of the season, with fans clamouring to see Guy Whittingham’s new-look Blues in action.
Despite competing in the bottom tier of English football for the first time since 1980, season ticket sales have soared.
And Guy Whittingham has backed the Pompey fans to make his new signings feel right at home.
The Blues boss said: “There were more than 8,500 for the Charlton game and they made some noise, but it will be nothing compared to Saturday.
“That should give the players a lift, but they’ll all be giving everything when they step onto the pitch.
“That’s all our fans ask, so the players don’t have to be nervous – the fans will be with them every step of the way.
“There’s competition for places here now and that’s a good headache to have. Everyone wants to play and everyone wants to win.
“But Oxford will be thinking the same thing and we know they’ll be a difficult side to beat.”
There will be a couple of familiar faces at Fratton Park on Saturday.
Former Pompey and Oxford boss Jim Smith is attending the game as a guest of the club, while ex-Blues striker Dave Kitson joined the Us over the summer.
Whittingham said: “Kitson came down here with Sheffield United in the final home game of last season and now he’s back with a different side for the first game of this season.
“We know his capabilities and that’s he’s a good player – we’re very mindful of that.
“It’ll be great to see Jim back at Fratton Park as well – he’s one of the best managers I’ve played under.”