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RJR returns and we keep a clean sheet...

...coincidence?

Perhaps, but I will say not! Then again perhaps I am bias towards him...

I, and many others, have said for a long time - despite his own weaknesses - that Rocha John Rocha is the best defender that we have at Pompey.

So I, and again others, have been left scratching our heads as to why he has not been getting a look-in for the past month and a half or so, even more so when our defensive frailties were exposed.

Steve Cotterill has put this down to ongoing fitness issues, although what I could not understand is why others are picked with 'fitness concerns' yet RJR was not.

Anyway his return helped us to our first win - and clean sheet? - since beating Norwich in December.

This was a result, as he told The Pompey Site, that pleased him and he knows was needed: 'it was brilliant for us. We've been really unlucky recently not to get the results but this time we got the result and the clean sheet.

'Greg and I did well together at the back - as did the other guys. Hermann on the left and Ritchie on the right did well and that was important for us.

'Everyone knew that we needed the result. When we keep a clean sheet we know we have the power up front to score goals.

'The lads knew how important it was so we did everything we could to win the game.'

Having returned to the starting 11, should he stay fit, there should not be an issue with him dropping out of it again, right?

He knows that it is 'up to the gaffer' if he retains his place, although this is his aim for Barnsley next week - and the games beyond: 'we have a small squad and everyone wants to play. Everyone gives their maximum when they're on the pitch.

'I'll keep doing my best in training and then it's up to the gaffer who plays - it's not an easy choice for him.'

The suspension of Jonathan Hogg 'might' be the thing that gives Aaron Mokoena a reprieve?

Otherwise then I am not sure I would have changed anything from this game, meaning Moko would have sat out next weekend, or at least should have...

As it is I suspect that he will return to the starting 11 against Barnsley now, with 'a little' juggling around of other players.

I 'think' there is a chance that this return may well come in midfield for the captain?

The worse thing for Cotterill to do now, even if players might need a rest, is move things around too much and make any changes unless they are required.

Whatever happens Steve PLEASE keep RJR in the starting 11 in central defence, alongside Greg Halford if necessary.

If he starts moving the back four around too much now, putting Halford into a fullback role for example and moving someone else, this could be detrimental.

So, the only movement, for me would be Hogg going out as he has to and Moko coming in - with him or Halford filling a midfield role as a result, whoever fills the midfield role the other plays in central defence...

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  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Monday February 14 2011

    Time: 10:33AM

    Your Comments

    Clean sheets are priceless & as rare as hens teeth. Plus the old adage of not changing a winning team. With Hogg out we need someone in so it's quite simple isn't it!!!
    storagematt
    Fitness and availability permitting SC's got to keep Rocha in there. What I like about the lineup is that Rocha is left sided and can well cover for Hermann if he gets exposed, this has worked well when Distin was here. IMO Hermann adds a lot to the team in terms of fight/experience/bombing forward recklessly, so covering for him is important. If Moko comes in I don't mind who partners Rocha but it might make sense defensively to keep Old Greg at centre back. Moko in midfield would rely on Mullins to run about a bit than he might like though.
    Liquor&Poker
    The midfield is a problem otherwise I see Mok the Weak's best position as centre back - - - - of the bench behind the kit man.
    russellm
    RJR a no brainer for me. he's so much more reassuring than Mokoena or Sonks.
    hammersmithblue
    SC needs to start acting like an adult and pick the best players for the job... not leave out those he's got a gripe about. If ever there's a sign of weak man management and personal insecurity he's sure displaying it. Enough of this nonsense, we need Rocha and Herman on the bloody pitch not scratching their backsides...
    cornypomp
     

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