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...
PLAY UP POMPEY!