Portsmouth - Cotterill reflects on Cardiff defeat
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Cotterill reflects on Cardiff defeat

In summary of the Cardiff game, I think the following thoughts shared by Steve Cotterill do sum up what went wrong all in all: 'we gave away two silly goals and that sums up the way things have been going for us for the past eight weeks.

'The trouble is if someone scores twice against us we do not have the firepower to come back.'

I would disagree, slightly, that we do not have 'the firepower to come back', as lets face it the attacking force that we have does have the ability - certainly at this level - the problem, for me, is the fact that none of them 'really' know who is playing where and we have too many that are 'strikers' and not 'wingers'...

He, and maybe others, would argue differently by would we REALLY do any worse if we set out in a 4-4-2 formation?

Put a pair up top and let the supply come from the wide midfielders, who remain wide midfielders - the central pair in midfield can be that 'defensive base', because as things stand we often have the 3 attacking players from the 4-3-3 running around like headless chickens and the central 3 from the midfield have little, or no, creation between them.

Is it not becoming clear, as it has for some time, that a 4-5-1/4-3-3 is not really working for us!

He also said: 'we are bottom of the league and the alarm bells are ringing but I was ringing them from the first day I took the job.

'I always knew this was a tough job and no-one will ever know just how tough it is because I won't tell them because if I give in then everyone will give in.'

Erm, Steve have you not just said what you said you did not want to?

Although lets face it I think it is, and if it was not before the past couple of weeks have made it abundantly clear, that we are in for a bloody long season...

He says that he will 'keep fighting' and not give in at this 'great club' but needs the tools to work with, which he does not: 'this is still a great club and we have to make sure we get things right on the pitch.

'I am a fighter and I will keep fighting but as a manager you need the tools to be able to do your job to the best of your ability.

'It concerns me we will lose players before the transfer window closes.'

Again it is clear that we need reinforcements, although it was also clear that this would not be easy for us to manage - so, we MUST make do with what we have, getting the best from this. The personnel is not really going to chance much in the weeks ahead so again I say we need to be looking at the shape we set-up with and if that means using the youngsters, so be it...

If the formation is not working, which I am not convinced it is, then would it really be any worse for us to at least try something different and go with that 4-4-2 to at least have a couple of 'proper' strikers that can feed off, and work with, each other.

This seems to be what is being tried - the lone man wants someone to play alongside - with little flick ons and so on, but there is no real out and out support striker to help...

Yesterday was as poor a performance as I can remember at Fratton; it was equally as bad as the poorest performance I could recall for sometime full stop from the week prior at Preston.

So, Steve has a couple of weeks to motivate these guys, really gee them up and do some serious work on the training pitch - if we come back with the players having the same attitude, lack of commitment and basically what seems a 'defeatist' attitude then we may as well give in now!

It is a big couple of week coming up...


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  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Sunday August 29 2010

    Time: 10:02AM

    Your Comments (oldest first)

    Change to most recent first
    Do we have the firepower Rug? Do we have a capable defence? What worries me the most is does the manager know how to pull it together and most importantly motivate his players to come back wins? I was a firm Cotterille supporter but I sense a lot of on the job training is going on for him. If these two Derby players don't fit in soon we are stuffed; Pompey can't afford to sack the manager. RussellM's wallet indicator is already stressed, I'VE already asked my self " why do I bother to put 10 on this lot to win" and we are not even finished August.
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 10:22:00

    OK, i stopped watching them as a team after the 2nd goal which we scored for them, and watched individuals. It became clear to me that Dave nugent had 2-3 people on him. Even when he ran from the box waiting on a corner, half of Cardiff followed him. So theres our problem, the other teams know there is no other threat, as they didnt even feel a need to mark many players. I noticed Nugent, Wilson and Brown were the 3 with all the attention from Cardiff, so i am hopefull kitson and Lawrenson will give other teams more to worry about and mean less players marking those we do have. Also, we have Webber to come in and give options, Utaka will free up a space, as although he did play better yesterday was it not more for his own good to try and get his move? And with Webber, kanu, Nugent and Kitson maybe then the 4-4-2 will get tested? 42 games to go, so lets not get panicing too soon, as long as the pack are not too far ahead before january, then we will free of the shackles of the PL and FA and hopefully bring in whats required to push on.
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 10:37:00

    The worrying thing for me about SC is the 3 players he's brought in are the worst on show. Sonko is a liabilty and shouldn't play again, Dickinson gets skinned by anyone on the opposition and as for Ashdown, there was a reason he was number 2 here for 6 years, he maybe a good shot stopper by he doesn't command his area and defenders need to have that confidence behind them that a keeper will. Thankfully Sonko and Dickinson are only loans and when we get more players in they can go back. I'm don't want to knock SC as he can only work with what he's got but I hope and pray he brings in more quality than he already has!
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 10:47:00

    Suggestion Russellm, put your 10 on the opposition to win and I think you'll make more money this season.
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 12:24:00

    I can help Russell if i back the opposition to win you'll be quids in my bets always go tits up.
    Steve C
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 13:14:00

    The pundits had predicted a mid-table finish with the players we've got. What they didn't take into account was SC who's not Championship material.
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 15:23:00

    Ok the technical aspects of the game are not my strongpoint, but it strikes me that the biggest problem with the defence is that they are not organised enough. OK Sonko has been a liability lately and Dickinson has been quite dodgy - Ashdown is at best inconsistent, but if they were properly organised then wouldn't they be better? As for upfront, we have players who should be able to score goals and I don't know why they're not - but we do have Guy Whittingham on the coaching staff, can't he do some work with them? (Or even get his boots on). I would like to see a strike partner with Nugent as well, even if it is Uslaka, who has always said he prefers to play as a striker. I do think though, given the short amount of time and the dire situation at the club, Cotterill can't be blamed. In fact I would say if any manager is fireproof at the moment, he is. Lets get behind the guy, that's the best way we can help right now.
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 15:34:00

    obviously that was meant to be Stoke players; the more i listen to the thoughts of chairman Cotterille the more worried i get. Clearly he has no faith in Nugent or Smith as strikers, yet he couldnt shut up about their strengths two weeks ago, he also does not seem able to keep the same reason for a defeat; changing the reason depending on which media outlet he is talking to. I take Tracyc's point, he is fire proof-Pompey can't afford to sack him. What id ont agree with is he cant be blamed; he is the manager and if he cannot motivate them, who will? I also agree with TracyC he needs support however the manager is known to be a bit arrogant ( surely a requirement for the job) and i think part of that support should come in a strong assistant manager and quickly, because another 5-6 weeks and the pressure will really mount. I do not see either Chanrai or Rich Kid putting up with that tripe we paid to watch yesterday.
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 16:12:00

    moley- Steve - i wish i could do your sensible things; but on a Friday afternoon or just after a hearty breakfast on a Saturday i get this unhealthy and completely unwarranted surge of optimism that - THIS IS THE DAY!!! THIISS IS THEEE DAY WE TURN IT AROUND.! LoL then 15 minutes after the game i find my self in a self loathing spiral depression- BUT THEN ITS FRIDAY AFTERNOON AGAIN! and THIS IS THE DAY! THIS IS ...........
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 16:18:00

    Long before the season started I posted on here that I winced when Cotterill was appointed. I had followed his career and the early promise he showed expired long before he ever joined Pompey. I am afraid he is not the right guy for us. Unlike AV who gelled the team even in adversity, ST hasn't got that ability, and his track record for buying players is badly flawed. I said before I hoped I was wrong, however, he looks like he is going out to prove me right.
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 17:03:00

    russ im doing the anti pompey 10 thing. lets face it its almost win "win"... either pompey win, or I win (draws are annoying!) ... you never know you might recoup your losses for the last 1.5 years =p
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 19:05:00

    I'm prepared to taking a watching brief with SC, I'm sure he has ability, he's certainly highly rated by people in the game, He who buggered off to the yids wanted him as his assistant. I think that he's got very little to work with at the moment, I don't rate any of our midfield as anything more than squad players. and we're not really any better off at the back. I think we have strikers who can score goals if they just had somebody to deliver quality service. At the moment they pretty much need to go looking for the ball and make something for themselves.
    Steve C
    Report Abuse
    29/08/2010 20:28:00

    What we can't do SteveC is let SC have a run at the beginning of the season like we did last year with PH, sack him, and then find us relegated because we didn't get points on the board before Xmas. Deja Vu!!
    Report Abuse
    30/08/2010 13:21:00

    I really get the feeling this guy is too negative. So people leave, so the squad is small... the comments from SC I read above are self serving... it's not my fault, what am i supposed to do... If i haven;t got the tools... reminds me of an old saying - anyone else? And before anyone else says he took the job and stuck with us... he took a job and is salaried like anyone else, we whinge like buggery that young english managers arent given their shot, well here is one! The problem is I find that the younger the manager the harder it is for them to control the sort of players we're stuck with from the prem days and probably why young managers pick young squads. If he stays I will support him but we should be looking at ALL positions - as SC said himself we should be looking for people that can improve on what we've got already.
    Report Abuse
    31/08/2010 12:31:00


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