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Paul Hart vows to battle on despite Portsmouth 'pain'

Paul Hart is adamant he will turn Portsmouth's season around despite setting an unwanted Premier League record by losing his first six games of the campaign.

• Hart out? Hoddle and O'Leary wanted

After a summer of turmoil at Fratton Park, Hart's new-look Portsmouth side have struggled considerably in the opening stages of the season and have been widely tipped to return to the second tier after seven years in the top flight.

However, Hart claims the situation could be a lot worse for Portsmouth and has attempted to highlight the adverse conditions he has been working under for a number of months, as well as insisting that the club's fortunes will improve.

"There is a pain of losing - especially when, overall, you see your team not doing too much wrong," Hart told the Portsmouth News. "It has been hard from the minute I took the job to be honest, but I did have a choice. I will get my head down and we've got to get through it.

"We've got good staff and good people around the football club who are supportive and try to understand. We hope that the supporters understand what we are trying to achieve, but it's not easy for anyone. When you think back to where we were in May, you realise that it's not quite as bad as it could be.

"The new players who have come in have brought an extra dimension, but in terms of finance, there is not a lot of difference to how it was in May. There are lots of anomalies that are associated with this football club.

"Some of it we've talked about, but we've kept quiet about some of the pain that we've gone through. It has been extremely painful over the summer. It's a first that a team has lost their first six Premier League matches - but there are other firsts as well.

"No other Premier League club came back on July 9 for pre-season with 14 players. No other club did their business in the final two days before the transfer deadline. I don't think you can ever say that you're enjoying it because that would be the wrong word. I come in, do my work and I think I'm not bad at it. The principles I've put down are strong ones and will work in the end."

Portsmouth play Carlisle in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night with both the club and Hart desperate for a positive result.


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