Cotterill reflects on Boro draw
A point at Boro is something that I would 'think' most would have taken, right?
A point having twice been behind, certainly...
A point having twice been behind, and still being behind going into injury time, without a shadow of a doubt!
And that is exactly what we got with the 2-2 draw at The Riverside on Saturday.
The pressure that we put Boro under in the final 10-minutes or so was pretty relentless, you sensed an equaliser could come although when it is your own side chasing this and putting the pressure on you always, well I do anyway, more often than not get that feeling 'it will not come'...
It did though!
Steve Cotterill - as he told The Pompey Site - thought we more than deserved this point and took 'plenty of pluses' from this game: 'from about 80 minutes onwards we got into the ascendency, built up a head of steam and got the equaliser we deserved.
'I think a few people would have had Middlesbrough down for a home win, because they finished the season like a train, so we're very pleased with the result. There are plenty of pluses.'
Given the fact that the game was played in torrential rain at times the standard of football, on a sodden pitch was pretty high.
This was something that Cotterill spoke about, but also spoke about the 'disappointing defending' for the goals, virtually all of them: 'it was an awful day. We were so wet at half-time that all the coaches had to change their kit. There was a corner of the pitch where it was so wet the players had to literally flick it up and volley it.
'Despite the rain there was some good football played, although Tony Mowbray will probably be disappointed with the defending for our two goals, as I was for theirs.'
Had one or two of our earlier chances been taken, and we had a couple of decent ones including Hayden Mullins and Joel Ward - his immediately after Boro took the lead, things could have been different?
The best chance of all came to Dave Kitson, and it is this one that 'might' have seen a different outcome had it gone in: 'we could have taken the lead in the game with a chance Dave Kitson had early on. I would like to have seen what would have happened if we had got our noses in front.'
Hey ho, with only the 11 players for the starting 11 to select from and just 3 outfield players, including 37-year-old Christian Dailly who only arrived on Friday, on the bench I think we can be happy, more than happy with this point!
One thing that I am slightly disappointed by, if not concerned, is the discipline again...
5 yellow cards in the opening game is a bit of a worry. Ok, I know some were, perhaps, harsh, but some of the booking for a 'lack of discipline' or a show of 'petulance' is not on.
It is a long old season and cards can soon mount up so suspensions will hit us hard - we need to make sure we are much more disciplined this time around than we were last season, and this is down to Cotterill to make sure this is installed into the players.
The worry with our small squad size is that we can quite literally make 'few' changes for the league cup-tie against Barnet on Tuesday, unless players arrive, and with Brighton to come to Fratton next weekend any injuries picked up against Barnet will see us stretched to breaking point!
Lets think positive though; bring on the two B's, Barnet and Brighton...
PLAY UP POMPEY!