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Reflections on Coventry defeat

Last night against Coventry mirrored the weekend game against Preston in many ways, for large periods, although it was worse...

For the majority of the 1st half it was like, for me, watching a training game with several - and to be fair not just our players - simply looking as though they were 'going through the motions' of what they would have considered a meaningless end of season game?

Steve Cotterill did not think that we deserved to lose and the 3-0 defeat particularly harsh: 'we didn't deserve to lose, let alone lose 3-0.

'It was very painful for our lads to play in that game, and I thought they showed courage until the last minute.'

I did not think that Coventry were that 'special' although I do think that defeat was, all in all, what we warranted in many ways...

I will say though that there were a few, despite my earlier thoughts, that you could visibly see were hurrying play along right until the death even at 3-0 down, so that was encouraging to see - although once again for the ones that were doing this throughout it was players at less than half pace throughout that would bring this down.

Yet again we saw some poor officiating, although for me even if this might have made life harder it would not have really altered the fact we would have lost.

Cotterill was visibly seething at a number of decisions and has confirmed that the red card for Hayden Mullins will be appealed: 'I can't say too much publicly about some of the decisions that were made. There was one obstacle we couldn't overcome, and it wasn't Coventry City.

'The first goal was a penalty, but the free-kick leading up to it wasn't.

'The second one was not a penalty. We will 100 per cent be appealing Hayden Mullins' sending off.

'It was never handball. The ball was kicked from two yards away onto his thigh, and it's bounced onto his hand. His hand hasn't even moved.'

We remain 9pts off the play-offs with only 5 games remaining so it is almost a nailed on, cast iron certainty that we now know that next season will see us in the nopower league again and Cotterill admits that he has know in his 'heart of hearts' for a while that we would not make it.

With that in mind he said that he tried a few different things, one of which was a start for Danny Webber - his first in 13-months, which 'should' benefit him: 'I've perhaps known in my heart of hearts for a while that they play-offs have been beyond us. But for sure that result has killed us absolutely stone dead.

'I went with two up front and in the first half we got in a couple of times with Dave Kitson rolling the ball through to Danny Webber. If we had scored either of them it would have been a different game.

'But maybe when Danny has had a few games and is a bit sharper, those chances will go in for him. I needed to get Danny involved so I could learn exactly where he is.'

Now for us to try and end the season with some pride, starting in Wales this weekend - bring on Cardiff!

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  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Wednesday April 13 2011

    Time: 9:06AM

    Your Comments

    Now i know i have already posted that survival was the key and that if the season finished now id be happy... blah blah but that performance was desperate, lazy and unproffessional. The strikers just arent up to it, the rest just arent up for it. A stunning waste of entrance fee money that will do nothing for season ticket sales and i think gave a good indication of who thinks there Pompey career is over.. Dont blame the match officials again Steve, it lacks credibility.
    russellm
    Despite an inept performance by the ref, I can't find fault with any of the yellow or red cards.
    uktony
    Once again SC lays blames with the officials. This current group of players have there eyes on their summer breaks already. Like you have said Russell, the Russians and those who have purchased season tickets for next year must be looking forward to the new season!
    bluedr
    Coventry fan here: I was there last night and I really enjoyed the trip but as most have you already stated, your team are already looking to the future! We are in as bad a financial position as you and we will do well to keep half of the team that played you last night. I'm sure it doesn't mean much but there are 2 flaws that I noticed about your team. We almost signed SC as our manager last summer but i think he was at fault for the loss as much as your players. He seemed to play Nugent massively out of position! It looked like a 4-2-3-1 with Nugent on the left. He is quick and caused us problems earlier at the Ricoh playing up front! That's where he is best so play him there surely? Secondly, your defence seemed to lack confidence. They didn't know whether to defend deep to avoid King latching on to through balls or to defend high up and avoid on coming midfielders running through (how we got the 1st penalty). They did neither and hence the result but I had a great night at Pompey and neither club has anything going for us this year now but I wish you guys all the best for next season!!
    SKYBLUEMATE
    Sky Blue - sorry to hear about your financial plight, I hope it gets sorted. Couldn't see the 2nd penalty decision, it was down the other end, all I could see was a melee of players, followed by the ref pointing to the spot and a red card, so can't comment. The first pen was the right decision and the second was a well taken goal, albeit a soft one from Pompey's POV. Whilst it seemed the ref's decisions did all go against us, our team played very poorly and there seemed to be no spirit in the side or will to win, and that just simply isn't good enough. It was the same on Saturday against Preston. I've renewed my season ticket and am going to Cardiff and Scunny and I'm starting to wonder if I'm regretting it right now!
    tracyc
    Can't argue with sky-blue's thoughts
    Russellm
    Pretty much spot on Sky Blue. I was aghast in the boozer after the game when one match goer said they were already on their holidays and then further added "you can't blame them can you?" Good grief, what about all the hard earned handed over last night? I too have already renewed for next season and will not accept performances like yesterda's. Nobody wants to have a stinker and we all know that now and again it happens, but lack of effort? No way!!
    Emsworthianblue
    One good thing from last night which no one has mentioned. At about 7:50pm for 60 whole seconds, the clock at the Fratton End had the correct time. That was the highlight for me!
    Pompey Half Pint
    Those tossers that make up our team have really proved to me what they are all about. Even on championship wages they have a lifestyle that 99% of us could only dream of and yet they can't complete a season giving their all for the club and fans. There is no pride, loyalty to the club anymore, it's long gone and I'm afraid a reflection on lifestyle living in the 21st Century. I feel very sad and pretty damn angry... :-((
    cornypomp
    Could've stayed home and watched Eastenders....... - Should've stayed home and watched Eastenders........
    Gandor1
     

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