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Reflections on Burnley defeat

For me the game against Burnley last night, defeat or not, was as poor and un-enjoyable as the Leeds game at the weekend was good and enjoyable!

It was truly shocking and I do not think that much can be said to defend the abject performance that, whilst still a bit off, was our worst performance in an age, apart from that Brighton FA cup game...

In all honesty I have not always agreed with a lot that Steve Cotterill has said recently, and most definitely do not agree with some of the actions, but I am 100% in agreement with him that this was our worst home performance 'by a mile' this season, and for many a season I reckon: 'it was a major disappointment - that was our worst home performance by a mile.

'We never got going. If I knew why we were so bad I would have changed it after five minutes. We didn't get out of the blocks, the tempo of our game was poor and our passing was poor.

'Three days ago we were excellent against Leeds, and if we had played like that against Burnley we would have won. But we weren't at it at all.'

We could not take any positives from that really could we?

Again I would also agree that on the whole we have been pretty good at home, even during this winless streak that we are on, so the law of averages says that you will eventually get a 'dodgy home performance'.

Although one again defensively we proved our own worst enemies, as we did not do nearly enough to prevent either Burnley goal, it was all too easy for them: 'we haven't had a win here for a while, but in general our performances at Fratton Park have been good.

'I suppose after all the lads have been through this season, maybe we were due a dodgy home performance - and we certainly produced one of those.

'We scored another good goal, but it's been a trait all season that we've conceded too many poor goals. We can't hide from that.'

There were several fitness doubts before the game so this clearly did not help but now the guys go off for some 'warm weather training', which will hopefully be of some benefit: 'we had three fitness tests before the game - Jamie Ashdown, Ritchie De Laet and Hayden Mullins - and at 4pm I wasn't sure any of them were going to play. So it was a tough night all round.

'We're taking the players away for a few days of warm weather training, and unfortunately we're going away with a bit of a sour taste in our mouths. But hopefully the break will give the players a boost and re-energise them.'

Jonathan Hogg came in for a debut shortly after arriving at the club and Cotterill thought he did 'ok' but feels that there is plenty more to come from him: 'I thought Jonathan Hogg was tidy. It wasn't easy as he only met the lads an hour before kick-off and he's come into a team that may be a little bit low on confidence because we haven't won for a while.

'But he's a good young boy and he'll be around our squad for the rest of the season.'

It was not the best of debuts, although to be fair I do not think that many could hold their hands up and say they had a good game could they?

There were few positives to take from this game and the sooner it is forgotten the better!

That said this 'should' be an indication of what we are really facing for the rest of the season. Survival in this league was a must for me from day one.

We went from a side facing relegation to one battling for promotion - we are now most definitely a side liking over our shoulders again a midtable finish now would feel like winning the league, as the bottom 3 looks more likely at this present moment in time so we better find some form soon or we will be right back in the brown stuff, although this time it will not be so easy to get out of it...

Plenty of players are carrying knocks, we now have just under a week before we travel to QPR, lets just hope that this mini break can see some batteries recharged, injury niggles cleared, possible another arrival or two but most definitely a change in attitude from some of the players, and the manager who 'seemingly' alienates people, and with a squad as wafer thin as we have we cannot afford that!

Onwards and, well, I will not say upwards just yet, just onwards will do for now...


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  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Wednesday January 26 2011

    Time: 9:16AM

    Your Comments (oldest first)

    Change to most recent first
    terrible performance. cotterill got it all wrong. Everyone saw how well joel ward did in the middle against leeds. why change it?? Hogg looked lost. not touch or composure. I know people don't like dickinson but de laet looks totally disinterested and is so right footed I cannot see the logic in putting him on the left side. Whats worse is that he was walking off when he saw Dicko on the sidelines. Talk about not wanting to be on the pitch. What halford was playing at I just don't know. WHY WHY WHY did he bring kanu off. The guy RAN off of the pitch. so he wasn't injured and he wasn't tired. Poor laim lawrence must have wondered what the hell was going on when kanu came off. He therefore felt like he had to do everything. The icing on the cake for me was then putting de laet up the left wing. He's not a winger thats for sure. Ciftci could have come on and done a proper job down there. It makes me wonder if he wont play him now because of a personal gripe, which is no good for the club. Its all wrong for me. Herman and Rocha both want to play for this club. Why are they not starting. and saying they aren't match fit doesnt wash with me because they are only going to get fit one way and thats by playing games. Rocha is a good defender. probably too good for us so why is he not on the pitch. WOW im so angry! cotterill has alot to answer for in my opinion. for him to come out and say that if "i knew what was wrong i would have changed after 5 minutes" is not good enough. if thats the case you are in the wrong job mate
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 10:15:00

    Got to agree with all thats been said. I know we can all be touchline Managers, by why on earth did he not start Rocha instead of Halford as CB and put him over as RB. Then start Ward in midfield where he is clearly more of a threat. For the life of me I cannot understand why he takes of an attacker and brings on a defender, or take a midfileder of and then move one left back up and bring on anaother one. Surely Kilbey could have come on for Hogg and Ciftci on for Kanu. Then go 4-4-2 with Nugget partnering Ciftci and Utaka dropping back into left side midfiled??? If SC has had falling out with Rocha, Ciftci and Kilbey and not going to use them then don't put them on the bench. He should be doing whats best for PFC and not keeping it personal. Finally, can't believe the amount of poor distribution and receivng of the ball from proffessional footballers, my Under 13 team have got better control than some of them. Sorry rant over
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 10:49:00

    I think yet another tactical error compiled with missed chances and the standard defensive performance- Halford is too slap dash sometimes.
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 11:01:00

    I'm told that DeLaet and Hogg didn't know what they were supposed to be doing; I'm starting tonthink Rocha must play and, because defence us where the main issues are, maybe take the captaincy for Pompey to reach mid table obscurity.
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 11:04:00

    Don't think Halford knew what he was doing either. surely he was there to defend and clear the ball?? or was it to try and be flash doing drag backs etc and nearly losing possession right in front of his own penalty area.
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 11:26:00

    A very bad day in the office, reminded me of those dark seasons in the mid-late 1990's. Starting to see a major dogfight to stay up. Too many players out of position, too many raw inexperienced players & too many poor players. Ahh well, only QPR away next, we should win that one!!!
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 12:46:00

    Don't know to say, it was dire, even I could see that.......
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 13:24:00

    Turgid affair, which is a shame, cos Burnley weren't that good either !!!! opportunity misses again :-(
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 14:53:00

    burnley were the 2nd worst team i have seen at fratton park all season. we were the worst yesterday. they should have whacked us!
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 16:11:00

    brucey_main now, dont bite my head off - cos im just flying an idea kite here but i've done a bit of a body language course and i think - and i might be wrong - but i think there are hints that you might be a bit miffed here cos you think the manager didnt quite perform to his usual standards. LOL or in fact you are bludy angry cos he did!
    Report Abuse
    26/01/2011 20:39:00


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