Cotterill reflects on Reading draw
Yesterday was one of those 'frustrating days' that you get, and one that you just knew was going to be the case the longer it went on - you know, one of those games where you knew that missed chances would eventually come back to bite you in the butt and hurt you...
We missed several really good opportunities and, as sensed, you felt this would hurt us in the end, as it did when Reading equalised, 'probably' deservedly so to be honest, at the death.
Steve Cotterill, as he told The Pompey Site, was 'proud' of his players though who gave it all but tiredness got the better of us: 'we only drew the game because we ran out of legs. We got deeper and deeper and tireder and tireder. We only had young kids on the bench to bring on.
'I think if it had been our 11 legs against their 11 legs we would have seen them off. But they've got a strong squad and can bring a lot to the party.
'Our lads ran their legs off for 90 minutes. To let a goal in after 87 minutes is a bit of a sickener. I really feel for the lads. But there were lots of positives.'
And some of those positive were the fact that the heads did not go down after the goal, searching for a winner continued. The character, effort and commitment could not be faulted either: 'what encouraged me most was that after Reading equalised, we had three great chances. It would have been easy to buckle. But we didn't.
'That's why I'm so proud of them. They're a great bunch of lads.
'I've had to put square pegs in round holes - when John Utaka got injured Joel Ward, a young defender, had to play in central midfield. Losing John didn't help us, especially as it was so early in the game.
'I thought it was a really brilliant effort by our lads. We showed great character and commitment. It was much better than on the opening day of the season at Coventry. The lads stuck manfully to their task.'
It was gut wrenching to conceded that goal so late on, although I too take the positives from that and do not think that we could have asked much more from those that performed. Clearly some still need to come up to speed with fitness, and have a little to learn about this level - but they will.
Those already used words, 'effort', 'commitment' and 'passion' could not be faulted at all for me.
So, all in all MORE of the same please, but PLEASE take the chances when they are presented and also do not give away needless corners, as they can cost you too...
PLAY UP POMPEY!