FL72: Portsmouth are ready to get back on track, says Karl Robinson

Last Updated: 11/10/13 11:11am

It's been a tough five years for Portsmouth Football Club, but MK Dons boss Karl Robinson believes their faith in manager Guy Whittingham and their loyal fan-base will get the club winning again.

Pompey have gone from Premier League status and FA Cup winners to a mid-table League Two side in just five years, with financial woes and administration leaving the famous club struggling to stay in the Football League.

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson joined Simon Thomas on the FL72 Preview show on Thursday to look ahead to Portsmouth's match against Plymouth on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 1 from 12pm.

And Robinson spoke of the problems Pompey manager Whittingham faces at a side teetering on the brink of failure.

"Whittingham has got a very, very difficult job," he said.

"We played them last season and I remember speaking to him after the game and he didn't know who was going to be taking over, was the job going to be his and if it wasn't, whose job was it going to be?

"You could sense the uncertainty around the place, but one thing you could see and hear is how passionate their fans are.

"They're a remarkable football club, who are very well supported and you hope for their sake that they do start climbing the league as the football club is definitely geared up.

"The fans are always going to be looking back, but Whittingham knows the club from bottom to top and I think when you employ a manager at a football club who has been through it all, the fans can relate to him and that's where you get the support from."


Portsmouth were favourites for promotion at the start of the League Two season, but have just won just three of their 10 fixtures so far this term.

"It's a very difficult place to play because of the fans' support mechanism."

Karl Robinson on Fratton Park

Despite this, the South Coast side have progressed in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, a competition Robinson believes could be very important for the club.

"I thought they would have hit the ground running a little quicker with Simon Ferry in midfield and David Connolly up front," added the Dons chief.

"You always thought they were going to win a lot of games and a big thing is Fratton Park - it's a very difficult place to play because of the fans' support mechanism and they've got some good young players.

"The JPT might give them something to play for this season and an opportunity to go to Wembley. They're a long way off it, but if that club got to the final they're going to be selling 30,000 tickets comfortably."

Ferry: Portsmouth star

Robinson also spoke of his admiration for former Swindon man Ferry, adding: "I would go as far to say that Ferry is one of the best midfielders in the league, he's got a wonderful grounding.

"We spoke about him before the play-offs last year with Swindon as he possesses talent and was brought up in one of the best academies in Britain in Celtic.

"He's always someone I've had a really keen eye on and someone I've liked as a player and somebody I felt could have fitted the way we play at MK Dons as well.

"I'm sure as the season goes on, his experience is only going to make Portsmouth a better team."