Portsmouth: Guy Whittingham hails fans on one-year anniversary

Portsmouth manager Guy Whittingham has paid tribute to the club's fans as he celebrates 12 months in charge.

Whittingham became caretaker boss on 7 November 2012 when Michael Appleton left to join Blackpool before taking the role on a permanent basis in April.

The club, who were relegated from League One last season, had been close to going out of existence but were saved by the Pompey Supporters' Trust.

"The fans are the reason why we are here," Whittingham told BBC South.

"There were also some individuals who worked very hard but it's important the fans realise it never ceases to amaze me how fantastic they are.

"The club was at its lowest point in its history and has come through to a point where the fans have rallied around us for us to still be here and that is a massive achievement."

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Whittingham was made full-time manager when the club exited administration after the takeover by the PST and has experienced plenty of highs and lows during the past 12 months.

The club went 19 games without a victory under his tenure and were eventually relegated as he was forced to rebuild the side from scratch.

And the 48-year-old says the past year has flown by with all the turmoil on and off the pitch.

"At times it flashed by," he said. "At times it's been one of those where you hope and pray everything comes through. The club and job has changed massively.

"The main aim is getting the infrastructure right and we hope we can develop it. It's important we get our own training ground, we need that infrastructure right so in future years we are run as a proper football club.

"There have been massive strides made already off the pitch. We have to match them on the pitch and also keep going in the right direction."

Whittingham added that his first victory in charge, away at Crewe on 2 March, was something that "will stay with me for a very long time".

He also believes that the spirit created in saving the club can help them strive to bring success back to Fratton Park.

"Everyone went through it together," he added. "It's right we came through it together and that we continue together."