PAUL COOK dismissed the notion his players are at Pompey for a payday.
And the Blues boss has thrown down the challenge to his men to make themselves heroes at Fratton Park this season.
Cook knows that can only happen in the coming months if they show the appetite for success to finally get their side out of League Two.
Pompey have again recruited heavily this summer in their effort to get out of League Two at the fourth attempt.
Twelve new faces were recruited as the boundaries were once again pushed on the club’s playing budget.
That ensures the Blues are at the top of the table when it comes to the wage bill being afforded the bid to go up.
Cook is adamant, however, it’s not the prospect of benefitting financially which has attracted players to the club.
He is certain his men possess the right qualities and motivations needed to succeed.
And that means making a name for themselves through achieving promotion is ahead of improving their bank balances in their priorities.
Cook said: ‘These lads are desperate to achieve success.
‘They haven’t come here to pick up a few quid. They aren’t those kind of lads.
‘The have suffered on some of those journeys back from places like Morecambe and games at home.
‘These lads feel it and our fans need to know that.’
With a blank weekend, Pompey find themselves five points off the automatic promotion places and seven points off new leaders Carlisle.
That’s after the disappointing loss to Stevenage at Fratton Park last weekend.
The task now for his players is to bridge that gap and show they have the qualities needed to make themselves favourites among a new generation of Blues followers.
Cook pinpointed the desire shown by Ben Davies last season and how that made him a fans’ favourite as an example of what is required.
Cook said: ‘Our fans want to see an appetite for the game. That will buy you credits with our fans.
‘That’s why Ben Davies was so popular – because of the closing down against Dagenham last season.
‘It gets you credits. Gary Roberts has scored some big goals for us. Gets you credits. To become a hero you have to give them something.
‘It’s important if you aren’t giving them quality you have to give them effort and energy. You have to give them that.
‘When we went behind at Luton there was no panic for us. They are calm.
‘That experience came through in the second half and I thought they were excellent.
‘That’s what we need to see, and it has to be matched with hunger.’