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Reflections on Norwich defeat

Ending the Fratton season with defeat was not the way that we would have wanted it but that is what happened when we went down 1-0 to Norwich, who secured their promotion to the premier league as a result, last night...

Steve Cotterill did not have much to say about the game itself really, merely reflecting on what he thought 'could have been'.

A pretty even game really but a lack of cutting edge is all that he thought separated the sides: 'it was a tough game for them and us. I thought if we could have kept a clean sheet we might have nicked it 1-0, because we've not been free-scoring for a while.

'But we didn't do too badly to keep them quiet considering they have people capable of scoring goals all around their team. Their diamond formation didn't cause us too many problems.'

I do hope that Cotterill - assuming he is still here next season? - decides to dispense with this 4-3-3 come 4-5-1 formation that he continues to persist with and goes with a conventional 4-4-2 formation.

At least if he does keep with that formation I hope that he has someone at the head of the attacking threat that can do such a formation justice and the players out wide are not being utilised in a negative way, as some of our supporting players have in some ways this season and that had detracted from what they might have offered us in a more central role perhaps?

Quite why we did not go with this last night surprises me and why we did not change to this at 1-0 down, at least sooner, even more so.

Yep Cotterill has had his hands tied all season, some of this down to his own doing if we are honest, but - and do not think I am 'jumping on his back' - his predecessors were constantly knocked for their tactical failings. There have been many times this season where I would have to say, even taking into account all factors, that he has been found wanting too...

Cotterill had some words of praise for Norwich following their promotion but bemoaned 'what could have been' had our situation been different: 'I'm delighted for Norwich. Their owners are terrific and are proper football people. It's a great football club.

'But it's really difficult to see another team get promoted on your own patch. It's hard to take.

'The desire to manage in the Premier League burns inside me and it's hard to see another manager standing six feet away achieve that. But good luck to Paul Lambert.

'With a little bit of help and a few players it could have been us up there, although I don`t think we could have finished in the top two after the start we had.

'But the lads have been brilliant and it's a credit to them that we're where we are in the table. Without the players and supporters this club would be rock bottom of the Championship.

'Pound for pound we have the best supporters in the Championship - they've been first class from day one.'

When all is said and done survival in this league was the main aim and we have more than achieved this so we have achieved what was the minimal aim - as things stand at the moment our task would be to do exactly the same next season.

The worry is that with the continued uncertainty around the club next season looks as though it will be even tougher...

An up and down season comes to an end next weekend, it is just a shame that the game at Scunthorpe will almost certainly be a damp squib now because neither side has anything to play for at all - then again perhaps this will make it a blinder, maybe I am just hoping for something we will not get?!

At least it will be a new ground and a decent day out as always!

Congratulations to Norwich, best of luck to them next season back in the big time...

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Tuesday May 3 2011

    Time: 9:53AM

    Your Comments

    Can anyone give me a reason why Kanu and Hreidarsson should be here next year, they are both miles off the pace of this league. Also you cant blame Halford for his anger at Ashdown, he is supposed to dominate the area, half the time he is so unsure it is beyond embarassing. Major overhaul next year, get rid of the deadwood and start again please
    Owenspompey
    Watched it twice on sky now and Pompey are very ordinary, the two strikers spent most of their time passing forward to defensive midfielders, a poor tacticall management and formation, stupid rash tackles and needless arguing with the Ref, odd timing of substitutions. A poor return for fans money- the leagues fans laughing at our nanagers press pronouncements; all that said his job no1 was league survival, so job done. With some 200k salary freed up and a better hand to choose players I give Potty Cottey two months into next season to show us what he can do.
    russellm
    We got through the season. This in it's self should be regarded as a triumph and congratulations given to all who have played their part from AA to supporters via players and management. At least 6 south coast derbies next year.
    MickTait
    The positives are our (more than) survival and settlement of the CVA. Thanks to BC, AA, SC and the team. Unfortunately I can't see any positives for next season at the moment.
    PFCblue
    Pol Cot is doing a lot of talking now. It's almost a bit like, well no, it is a lot like self promotion. I don't see too many reasons to be negative next season, money coming in from Italy ( at last) some sky money ( at last) circa 250k pcm additional available for salary and Pompey apparently quietly confident about their position against spurs. Should be enough for the same position finish next year. Even better if Mok the Weak isn't here.
    russellm
     

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