Portsmouth (A) Tue 27th Nov, 7.45pm


#1

"To see great Pompey pass"

(Shakespeare)

Current form dictates that any ideas of bringing three points back from a visit to Fortress Fratton Park come under the heading of “Mission Impossible”. Kenny Jackett’s side are currently 4 points clear at the top of the League One table with the hugely impressive win statistic of 66%, having lost only one league game so far this season. Tuesday will probably reveal one familiar face to Saddlers’ fans in the form of goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray, who joined Portsmouth from the beginning of this season after Shrewsbury Town’s offer of an extension to his contract evidently fell short of expectations. Try not to get too depressed at Portsmouth’s current League One form:-

13 Oct AFC Wimbledon (A) Won 1-2
20 Oct Fleetwood Town (H) Won 1-0
23 Oct Burton Albion (H) Drew 2-2
27 Oct Accrington Stanley (A) Drew 1-1
3 Nov Bradford City (A) Won 0-1
24 Nov Scunthorpe United (A) Won 1-2

The only faint possibility of a redeeming factor is the “bad day at the office” syndrome, and it’s worth stating that (grabbing at straws here) Portsmouth’s only League One defeat this season was at home, against Gillingham of all teams, 0-2 on 6th October. No slip-ups since though…

If crowd size plays any part in affecting a player’s motivation (and we seemed to play well against Sunderland with an attendance of almost 8,000) it should be noted that Portsmouth’s last couple of League One games, including a Tuesday night fixture, have both brought in 18,000+ gates.

Although they are top of the table Portsmouth are not the leading scorers in League One with 30 goals - Sunderland, Luton Town, Barnsley and Peterborough have all scored more, but with only 15 goals conceded they have the joint meanest defence in the League. This is what Dean Keates’ men have to unlock, but if Gillingham (in the relegation zone at the time) can do it why can’t we?

Prediction? Can’t see us winning this one, but a 1-1 draw would be very acceptable. Over to you, Andy Cook.

UTS


#2

Although unlikely but NOT impossible what would a win against Pompey do for confidence ahead of our big cup tie next weekend :grinning:. Sure they would feel 10 foot taller stepping out against the black cats .


#3

League one is strange this season in all the top teams have been better away than at home so far.

Pompey have drawn with Sloppies, Wycombe, Burton and lost to Gillingham so Fratton Park not an impossible ground to get a result.

Think Saturday’s result will knock confidence a bit though and can see 3-1 loss, Jamal Lowe always impresses me, very tricky winger who could play premier league one day.

They also signed a guy from Ireland called Ronan Curtis (not to be confused with Connor Ronan!) who’s scored plenty and means Brett Pitmann has been on bench for most of their games which is ridiculous strength in depth.


#4

Cannot see anything but a defeat here…2-0 I regret to say.


#5

Take a draw, unless we go 2-0 against 10 men, then I expect a win.


#6

Pitman has been on the bench due to the selection of Oli Hawkins as the ‘one up top’. Pitman had a prodigious goalscoring record last season but Jackett seems to prefer what Hawkins offers the team. Hawkins is never going to be a 20 goal a season striker, but brings others in to play really well when he’s playing well and has been a big part in ensuring that the likes of Lowe, Curtis and Evans have had such effective seasons to date.

We’re definitely stronger away from home. We’ve found it hard to break opponents down at Fratton Park on several occasions this season and, as Gillingham proved, we’re not impregnable despite having a pretty solid back line most of the time.

I’ve been impressed with your start to the season. Like many others I really thought this season would be one of struggle for you (as I did last season), but someone is clearly doing something right given the resources available.

I’m obviously hoping for us to take the points on Tuesday but wish you the best of luck for the season beyond that.


#7

Yeah OIi Hawkins, another guy Pompey found from the non league. I believe he came as a defender and you converted him to a striker?

Good to see Pompey on the way back. Were mismanaged for so long. One of my best friends from Uni supported Pompey (this was around the 2008 golden era) so can still remember all those from that team that he obssesed about like Benjani and John Utaka! Little bit different look to things now.


#8

Trying to get that across to some of our fans is proving difficult :wink:


#9

" Like many others I really thought this season would be one of struggle for you (as I did last season),"

… and the season before that , and the season before that , and the season before that etc etc do i need to continue :disappointed:


#10

Hawkins came as a striker from Dagenham and Redbridge but was converted to centre half for a run of games in the first half of last season (and did really well there). I think many of us thought he had more potential there than up front. He’s still raw (despite not being that young) but improving a great deal.

We’ve picked up a few gems from outside the league over the past few years. Lowe was signed from the Conference South and has been terrific - he’ll play in the Championship. Curtis was from the League of Ireland and was a revelation at the start of this season and has earned a call up to the full Ireland squad. Both are currently keeping alternatives with arguably greater ‘pedigree’ out of the side. It goes to show that the talent is there in non-league if you’ve got the right people looking for it.

Craig McGillivray has been really impressive since signing from Shrewsbury (I understand he was at the Bescot before he went to Shrewsbury). He’s kept Luke McGee out of our side since the opening day, and has been very solid, unflappable, and looks like a find (cue a load of clangers on Tuesday ;-)).

As much of a novelty as the Premier League was I prefer this Pompey to the one that went before. The years in League 2 under fan ownership were hard work - it took four seasons of year on year improvement - but the promotion when it came was properly earned. If we get up this season we’ll do so punching a little above our weight but, as I’m sure you’ll know - those achievements are the ones that mean the most.


#11

We’re told season upon season we’re punching above our weight :tired_face:


#12

The difference though with our club is it’s become acceptable and the norm which really pisses me off that there’s sod-all we can do about it :rage:


#13

In terms of attendances yes the club are, Sunderland will be getting 40k by end of the season if they’re still top 2. Pompey get 18k whatever position in the league they’re in. Barnsley is solid 10k and Luton playing terrific football are selling out every week.

So a club that gets a solid but small 3-4k average crowd is very likely to be other clubs with that core like Rochdale, Southend, Sloppies in the table.

Of course we can flip that and then look at lack of club ambition which means the core stubbornly stays and dosen’t rise to even 5k when the team has good results like in August-September and the whole wheel slowly turns again.


#14

It’s tricky for pretty much any club, without someone putting huge sums in. The problem is even when that happens it is very rarely someone putting their own cash in (unless you’ve got a Jack Walker or Dave Whelan who has a connection to your town or city and is willing to burn their own money), it tends to be loans by way of a gamble of making something further down the line.

Having seen my club come very close to going to the wall (more than once) I’d rather be a Walsall or Plymouth fan, than follow many of the clubs in the football league.


#15

For some strange reason I have used my last bit of holiday from work and am going to this… Need my head checking!

Will obviously take a point but it’s going to be bloody difficult.


#16

Another mid week away game against tough opposition. Since the capitulation at Rotherham last season I have a strong suspicion this side really struggles to turn up for these. Portsmouth have also impressed me more than any league one team this season and deservedly sit top above Sunderland.

I fear a walloping to be honest.


#17

Yep, can’t see past a tonking to be honest. Not even going to bother on iFollow.


#18

As I am struggling to see many live games I’ll be watching on ifollow.

Pleasantly surprised with a draw on Saturday, having predicted a bollocking (though disappointed not to hang on for the win), so you never know.

So a 5-1 defeat :rofl:


#19

I say I’m not going to bother … but only because today is me and my girlfriends anniversary and I managed to forgot. Tomorrow is my attempt to get released from the doghouse :rofl:


#20

Candle-lit iFollow, what more could a girl want?