STEVE WIGLEY believes the derby represents the perfect opportunity to kick-start Saints' season.

Some are predicting Wigley will lose his job if Saints are beaten by their fiercest rivals, but the St Mary's head coach is still determined to relish the unique atmosphere of a south-coast derby.

"As a coach you want the games to come around. It's no good fearing them, you need them to come around to get the results we need," said the man who once played for Pompey. "We've got to win - it will get us in touch with the teams we should be in and around.

"It's a smashing game - one to look forward to and one which we hope will kick-start our season."

Wigley, below, is still searching for his first Premiership win at the 11th attempt and has been placed firmly in the spotlight following Tuesday's 5-2 Carling Cup humiliation at Watford.

"We owe the fans," he said.

"And really you couldn't have a better game to put it right. We've got the opportunity to do that. We've got to make sure we do. All the talking goes out of the window come 12noon tomorrow."

Asked if it was the biggest game of his time as head coach, Wigley said: "Every week you feel it is the biggest game. I suppose with the added spice of who it is and the timing, yes, it is a massive game. Not just for me, for everybody concerned with the football club.

"It is not a game to go into with any worries. You have to go in on your front foot."

Portsmouth's 1-0 victory at Fratton Park last March ignited their season and Wigley has stressed there remains plenty of time for Saints to resurrect this campaign.

"The Premier League is a marathon. Believe me, it feels like more than 26 miles at the moment! But we have got ample time.

"I don't think they (Pompey) are favourites. You start any derby fairly even. If we had been going to Fratton, you could put them slight favourites. But we are home, we've got something to prove and I'm sure the players will be ready. I'm not concerned about Portsmouth's form, but I've got the utmost respect for their manager. What a great job Harry has done."