Date:Thursday April 15 2010
Going into the Wigan game last night few knew who we would have available, let alone who would play - either way, in many ways, lets he honest did we expect much?
That said to be fair, although we clearly offered little going forward, I thought we played well enough and I was more than happy enough with the point gained and the performances given by the players - and delighted to see some of the kids given a chance.
Only 3 players that started the FA cup semi final also started at the DW, although 1 of these went off at half time with Joel Ward and Matty Ritchie handed their premier league debuts - and both held there own.
As we know I am a Ritchie fan, as such I am totally gutted to have missed his debut, as I was missing Ward's too, although this guy looks the part - he has the physical presence and defensive knowhow, and seems to quickly learn from mistakes so he 'should' have a decent Pompey future ahead of him for sure. He is out of contract in the summer but surely we cannot let him slip away?
Some would question the number of changes that Avram Grant made although he feels the premier league, should they be thinking about making any complaints, have nothing to complain about as he had no option but to make these changes: 'the Premier League need not say anything about Portsmouth.
'They need to give us an award because we are playing as we play with a lot of injuries - it is not ideal for us.
'But what can I do, we have many players who were injured so we used some players from the academy and I was very pleased with them.
'We needed to do it because we have a very small squad. Hassan Yebda was on the bench but even he was not fit and therefore he didn't play.'
Lenny Sowah, who came on at half time - which left us with a back 4 with an average age in the early 20s, and Marlon Pack, recently back from another loan spell away from the club, were 2 of the 4 named on the bench with Liam O'Brien missing out on taking his place shortly before the game over fears that an appearance would lead to a payment - yet another of those clauses written into contracts! - having to be made to QPR if he had to come on. So, we had no sub keeper on the bench.
Jamie Ashdown played in goal again and to be fair had a good game, which drew praise from Grant: 'we didn't even have a reserve goalkeeper on the bench but Ashdown did very well.
'In the last three games we've had clean sheets and he has played in two of them.'
As I say I am happy enough with this, we played well enough and managed to keep at bay a side - although maybe not one of the best around - that 'would' have expected to beat us whatever side we put out, even more so seeing the patched up one we eventually did, which did us proud. As did the fans - hats off to them, my only regret of the night was that try as I might it just was not possible to be there with them.
Bring on the Villa...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Thursday April 15 2010
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