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Reflections on Doncaster win

It was not pretty; far from it at times, at Doncaster yesterday although we were by far worthy winners and a 2-0 win was the least that we deserved.

Steve Cotterill was not only pleased with the win but the clean sheet to go with it that brought a win, that was needed, and been warranted for a while.

I think his thoughts about being 'well disciplined', which we were, were a key factor: 'we've deserved a win for a while, and it's always pleasing to get a clean sheet.

'I thought we were very disciplined. When you come to good footballing teams like Doncaster and Swansea you've got to nullify their threat to get yourself into the game. And I thought we did that well.'

As much as we were pretty dominant with possession we were not creating a host of chances although when a chance came to Dave Kitson, taking a whack in the face in the process, he finished well.

Cotterill has revealed that his son has been ill in hospital this week so he was not even sure he would make it: 'it's been a tough week for Kits. He's not trained a lot. I'm sure he won't mind me saying his lad has been poorly in hospital this week.

'It was a big ask for Kits to play. I wasn't quite sure before the game if he was going to be right. At 1pm I asked him if he would be okay to play.

'But I'm delighted he did and that he scored. He's got a fat lip and a goal for his troubles and hopefully his little lad will be okay. Hopefully this will be the start of a good week for him.'

Suddenly Joel Ward is becoming quite an important player for Pompey, featuring in a variety of positions in recent months.

At Donny his latest role was almost as a support striker in a more attacking midfield role and he marked this with a goal - another fine finish too!

Again he earned praise from his manager, a manager that continues to be proven wrong by his ability: 'Joel Ward has got great energy and did well in that role in the centre in midfield in behind the striker.

'He's got bundles of energy and is capable of nicking a goal, which he did. We knew his running would be important.'

Not wishing to harp on about it but I cannot help but keep thinking had Cotterill given others the chance that he has Ward, even it was 'forced upon him', others could have followed him in progressing into the 1st team...

The negative from the day was the sending off of Jonathan Hogg for, what I would say was two harsh yellow cards - the second particularly so!

I was surprised that a free kick was even given for the handball, although you see them given, but for him to go for it too was cruel.

Cotterill had plenty to say about the on loan Villa man and felt for him: 'it was a very harsh sending off, which we can't appeal because it was a second yellow. It was ball to hand. Jonathan's devastated about it.

'He's a great lad and right little power pack. He's the ultimate professional and covers so much ground around the pitch. He's a passer, so competitive and a really infectious character. I love him.'

It was not the greatest spectacle, or advertisement for football in many ways, although collecting the 3pts was the main thing - and even the most passionate of Donny fans would be hard pushed to admit anything other than the fact we deserved the win.

We needed this win to relieve the pressure that was mounting.

Whilst it would be foolish to 'expect' anything I reckon there is a 'decent' chance that we can now string together a run of results to ensure our safety in this league.

That 'hoodoo' against the sides in the lower reaches of the league, not to mention that winless streak, has been broken, now we MUST build on this against others sides in the bottom half of the table with back-to-back games at Fratton against Barnsley and Palace.

4pts, minimum, 'should' be the target for these next two games...

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  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Sunday February 13 2011

    Time: 9:20AM

    Your Comments

    If we can beat the ROVERS RETURN then we could be in CORONATION Street by the time we take on the PALACE.
    pompeygray
    Why is Ward continuing to prove Coterill wrong?? Ward is obviouslt one of the fringe youngters SC saw enough potential in to warrant holding on to him and wasn't he just offered a new/extended contract. He's featured quite a lot this season hasn't he, on some occasions getting the nod ahead of seasoned pro's (when there's been the luxury of a choice for the manager)! If anything I'd say he's proving Coterill right!
    pompeysloth
    This victory must give us a morale boost. This team, under SC has become a very moody team, and morale is a very important factor. I think that we can go on and win the next 2 games. I expect Moko to come back into the starting 11 next Saturday and play alongside Mullins in midfield, or maybe just behind him.
    Pompey Malta
    God PompeyMalta I hope you are wrong Mok the Weak is really what's NOT needed. Without him the players listened to what They were told to do by Rocha and Herman and every player new their defensive role; I dont think we can afford to go back to the times of Mok the Wesk arguing with people who know better just because he's the manager's mate. Your point about confidence is spot on!
    russellm
    I'll take issue with Cot's statement that wasn't one of our best performances in the last 4-5 games; not sure that statement is credible.
    russellm
    It was a great finish by Ward, who as has been pointed out is impressing more and more each week. If this was last season, we'd have sold him by now.
    PompeyFrippy
    ward only got a chance because cotts had no other option - tbf cotts admits himself he was 'unsure' of ward, but luckily he did get a chance and has proven he was worth it. am not at all convinced that cotts planned, or wanted, to use ward as much if even keep him...
    so i retain the thoughts that ward is proving cotts wrong, and cotts is not being proven right by keeping him.
    pompeyrug
     

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