Date:Wednesday February 23 2011
Pompey secured a third successive win, and a third successive cleansheet in the process, when we complete a 'comprehensive' 1-0 win over Palace - and despite the flattering scoreline to Palace it was just that, comprehensive.
Following a break from media duties following the Barnsley win Steve Cotterill was back doing this.
He thought that we were 'superb', and I cannot say that I disagree overall.
He went as far as saying he thought it was our most impressive of the season with a few more goals all that was lacking: 'that was as comprehensive a 1-0 win as we've had all season. I thought we were superb.
'We passed the ball really well and had a lot of energy about us. It's amazing what a couple of wins will do for players' confidence. We played some really good football.
'We were bruising Palace, but we had to make sure we cut them, and we did that in the second half by finding our cutting edge and getting the goal - and we probably could have had two or three more.'
We dominated the game from the opening minutes really and that made all the difference - if you stamp your authority on a game early on that 'usually' sets the tone, and we did that.
Dominating games is the key, and as said was just that to a 'big win' last night: 'if you can dominate enough games, you'll get enough points, and that was a big win for us.'
Ritchie de Laet, who was awesome again, and David Cotterill combined well down the right and that did make a difference: 'we got some joy down our right-hand side. Ritchie De Laet showed what he is about with his energy, while his combination work with David Cotterill was very good.'
This is the best right-sided combination that we have had for some time, more of the same please guys!
Defensively we were pretty solid again dealing with just about everything that we had to fairly comfortably, it was not until the dying minutes that we go 'a little' jittery, but still saw it through.
That 'settled defence' is what we have needed, and we have now gone 3 games running playing with the same back 4, which has made a huge difference, especially Rocha John Rocha.
He seems to install confidence in those around them, he certainly does me!
This settled defence, again as said, clearly played a part and Cotterill knows this: 'dare I say it we've got a little bit settled at the back. We had about eight different central defensive partnerships starting games before the current one.
'Maybe the mix is better back there. It's not about the individual players, it's about the mix.'
I am really pleased that Cotterill again resisted the temptation to change anything at the back and brought back Boss Hogg instead of Aaron Mokoena for the injured Liam Lawrence, who will most likely miss Ipswich on Saturday too...
It also pleased me that he refrained from bringing on Mokoena with 15-20 minutes, or so, to play as I reckon we would have gone so defensive, and invited so much pressure on us, we would have cracked.
We got the goal, which was deserved even if there was more than a slice of fortune about it, and instead of sitting back we carried on as we were, and that made a massive difference.
More of the same please guys, play like that more often than not and we will beat plenty more teams before the season is out and lingering relegation worries will soon be forgotten.
Ipswich will be tough on Saturday but there is NO reason why we cannot go there and get another decent result - a draw would be fine, another win fantastic and I do not think we should rule this out given our 'pretty impressive' away form this season really.
Bring on The Tractor Boys...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Wednesday February 23 2011
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