Cotterill/Wilson reflect on Coventry
It was a new season, and first game in charge for Steve Cotterill, although some things just did not change - on the pitch I mean - as we again suffered a defeat, something that is becoming all to regular for us and something, like the old days, you almost 'expect' now...
Cotterill, talking on The Pompey Site, felt, and I would agree to be honest, that apart from the goal - which was a poor goal to concede, this 'could' and 'should' have been avoided I felt based on seeing it as it happened - we were the better side in the 1st half: 'the goal aside, in the first half we were the better team. We had a lot of the ball.
'But in the second half tired legs took their toll. And after their second goal we had a mountain to climb.'
He also believes that the 'mindset' from last season, where defeat is almost 'accepted' among the players, also did not help and will be looking to alter that.
Although he feels that we can/will learn from this and will turn things around as the fitness, which is lacking for many, improves: 'goals change mindsets. Perhaps there's a spillover from last season. We've got to get rid of that. We conceded bad goals. But we'll learn plenty from that.
'We'll stick at it and we'll get better. We'll get our fitness and we'll start climbing the league.'
Marc Wilson, who is attracting the interest of West Brom, was named as the captain prior to the game - I think this was, and is, a smart move.
Cotterill feels that he can get 'something more' from Wilson by giving him the armband: 'it was a big decision because we've got five or six other players who would have been obvious choices. They could all have been captains.
'But I think we might be able to get something more out of Marc Wilson by making him captain.
'He's the best passer of the ball at the club and I hope he will rise to the challenge of being skipper.'
To be honest, and I think we all know that I am a 'Wilson fan', I thought he took to the captaincy well and this did up his game as he started like a demon - his passing, and range of this was fantastic.
He quite clearly is the best distributor that we have and looks as though he can make things happen going forward, with the help of others. His free kick at the end was a beauty too, sadly the post did not agree...
As for Wilson himself he said, he too was talking on The Pompey Site, that he was proud to be named captain and felt Coventry 'seemed' to want the game more, which is about right - although I am not having a dig at too many of the players: 'I'm very proud to be the captain. I was told in the changing room before the game and it was a happy moment for me.
'But it's obviously disappointing for all the lads that we lost the game.
'It wasn't a great game for us but we've got to put it behind us and look to move on quickly. Coventry seemed to want the game more but some of our players haven't reached full fitness yet - although that should happen in the next few games.'
A number of players tired in the 2nd half, it is not ideal to be doing 'pre-season training during the season', although once again this looks like it is the case for us - all in all though I do feel that if we can keep the majority of the squad intact and add a little more we will do ok this season as I also feel that all in all most DO want to be here, which helps!
Some 2,000 plus fans made the journey to The Ricoh and we were fantastic - Wilson acknowledged this: 'the fans were a different class, though, and we really appreciate that. We need them and they were fantastic.'
We were top class from start to finish - especially at the end more so, even in defeat we never gave up and that buzz of excitement I got the first time being in the Pompey crowd for an away game all those years ago remains the same with support like we have!
As for John Utaka, the guy was a disgrace, an absolutely disgrace - he is not fit to pull on our shirt, it is just a shame that we cannot let him rot away in the reserves, or just not pick him - we have no reserves and the money he is on will dictate that he will play I guess...
I can honestly say, and I am NOT a fan of his anyway, that any lingering ounce of respect I might have had for him was lost - I have never seen a player as disinterested as he was, anyone that was at the game will have lost count of the number of times he quite visibly, and unashamedly, 'gave up'. I hate booing players, or the team, but he deserved this, and the 'get him off, get him off, get him off' treatment that he got. I assume he heard the boos, but if not he will think that he was getting a standing ovation when he came off...
His ability has never been in doubt, I know, you know and he knows that he has this but without the desire to apply yourself, which he does not, you have nothing apart from a player costing a bloody fortune! I do not care that he does not score goals, or at least I would not so much if he actually put in the effort - the fact that he scored a few last season never won me over, nor will it this season unless he applies himself, surely it is in his best interests to do that to try and get the move he wants, and based on that showing any scouts 'watching him' would think 'sod that!'
Yep, we are back and will soon be back in action again.
Monday sees the trip to Stevenage with the TV cameras 'looking for an upset' - we WILL have to improve against them, and other no power sides this season, or we WILL be in trouble, the possibly of an upset would be the least of our problems...
PLAY UP POMPEY!