Back in business
Ok, perhaps 'back in business' is the wrong choice of words and 'back in action' might have been more appropriate for Pompey's return to football this weekend?
Either way a return to premier league action is what we do see this weekend with the big game at Stoke - a game that, like some many that will come up in the weeks and months ahead, that we 'cannot afford to lose', yet I also feel we MUST go into with the 'intention' of trying to win!
The 4-0 wins over Stoke - a 2nd string side in the league cup - and Wigan, was followed by 45 minutes against Blackburn that saw us winning 1-0. At this point confidence would have been sky high, although we came crashing back down to earth with a bump in that 2nd half as we got turned over and eventually lost 3-1...
I maintain my thoughts that as much as Fat Sam's half time changes made a difference our 'inability', or maybe more to the point 'reluctance' to look to kill the game off cost us - had we looked to do this I am sure that we would now be going into the game with Stoke having won 3 league and cup games on the spin, having moved out of the bottom 3, even if it was only for 24-hours until Hull won, against Stoke at the KC.
As it is, we are back to the point where we look to build-up again, so looking forward is the way to go again, not back...
So, in looking forward to this game with Stoke on Sunday it is essential that we avoid defeat!
Stoke have a fantastic home record since getting into the premier league, and I think 'the big 4' aside, only West Ham and one other side, maybe Everton, have gone to the Britannia Stadium and actually come away with all 3pts, so this really does highlight the enormity of the task ahead of us so we do have to remain 'realistic' I guess.
With that in mind, in all honesty I would be 'happy' with a point, as I really do feel - and the above proves testament to this - that 'better' sides than us will come away from the Britannia with nothing at all this season!
That said I think that it would be criminal if we went into this game with a pure 'lets take a point' attitude, and sat back looking to 'protect' what we have from the outset - I know I said we had to look forward, but looking back briefly, our trying to preserve a lead at Blackburn cost us and going to Hull ONLY looking for a point 'might' still cost us, this was a game we should have been looking to win as this win would have done us so much good, and them so much harm.
Why should we not go into this game with a similar set-up, and mentality, to the one we showed against Stoke, again albeit a 'reserve side', and Wigan recently - this worked, so why not approach this in a similar way?
A point probably would be a good return from this game, and defeat just cannot happen - simple as! But PLEASE Paul Hart do not forget just how much more important 3pts could be if we can get them, so lets at least show some intention to want to get them...
PLAY UP POMPEY!