Cotterill reflects on Leicester cup defeat
Different competition, although it was the same old outcome for Pompey as we lost again as we were dumped out of the league cup against Leicester, losing the first of the double header against them...
It seems to be the same old same of from Steve Cotterill, who had this to say in The News: 'it was similar to the other games. We've created a lot of chances, maybe not as many as Saturday, but we created a lot.
'We started poorly and the goal was a poor one to give away.
'I think that knocked our confidence, but we regrouped at half-time and we were good in the second-half.
'We've got to dust ourselves off now and go again. We've got to put it right on Friday.'
We certainly DO need to put it right on Friday - this may seem as an 'overestimation' of the importance of this game, and then the Bristol City game to follow on the Tuesday, but I reckon we MUST go through those games unbeaten with 4pts the minimum we need to pick up. Defeat on Friday and what is going to be a long season anyway will get a hell of a lot longer...
Once Richard Hughes got sent off, bless him - as much as I like the guy we will always struggle to do anything with him playing in the middle of the park these days - we actually improved. He was sent off for 'foul and abusive language' although Cotterill refused to point the finger at Hughesy, more so at the referee: 'what do you want me to do, cane him?
'I could go up the wall and I could slaughter him, or I could ask him what he said, which I did, to which he said 'I'm sorry to all the lads, I've let you all down and I was wrong to do it.'
'What more can you say? He apologised because he is a decent lad, he is a really decent lad. Anyone who knows Richard would know that.
'But I am not surprised the referee sent someone off and I am not surprised it was one of our players, especially given how he was talking to them.
'Richard has been sent off for foul and abusive language, which we wouldn't condone anyway. But I am certainly not surprised he sent one of our lads off. The game was all about him if I am honest.'
I would again say that we had a poor referee, and the linesman was not much better, but was it their fault - ultimately - that we lost this game?
I have to say no to be honest, and I think it is time that we started seeing Cotterill be more honest about things - we were not good enough, some did not want it enough and it almost seemed that he was one of them. Granted he cannot point the finger at people too much in public but I would hope that he does in private, and the league game on Friday is a huge one but if the 'fitness' issue is something that he wants to improve, and he has repeatedly said it is, then playing is the best way to improve this, right? So why leave some out...
He MUST make some BIG calls on Friday and desperately needs to get this right from the off so we can be on the front foot instead of the back again having to chase a game - if this does not quite work out then what he says and does at half time needs to be spot on.
To be fair he made some personnel changes at Sheffield United last weekend, he will have to be looking at doing this again in the next game and whilst I am not blaming Jamie Ashdown for the defeat, or saying he should be dropped, he seemed to be beaten too easily at his near post - once again - for their second goal, so I am quite amazed that we did not use this game to give Aaron Flahavan a run to see what he can do...
It may well seem all doom and gloom at the moment but a win in the league 'could' turn things around - we seem to have gone an eternity without a league win. I honestly, off the top of my head, cannot remember the last time I saw us win a league game so if it is ingrained in the club that we will lose, invariably we will! This mentality needs to change.
Wins breed confidence, and one of these in the league could make a lot of difference and we DO have decent enough players to be doing this and its high time we did...
PLAY UP POMPEY!