Reflecting on West Ham defeat
Sometimes you get one of those days when you 'do not really deserve what you get', right?
Of course this works both ways, sometimes you get it in your favour and others against you - I think, all 'blinkered views' aside (honest) we were hard done by to come away from West Ham with a 4-3 defeat yesterday...
Had we come away with a point it would not have been unfair at all, then again if you do not make the most of your chances - and we carved out some decent ones, even if they were only half chances, you can often be punished.
Steve Cotterill, as he told The Pompey Site, was in little doubt that we were 'the better team' on the day and we 'dominated' the game for about an hour.
But for the sending off of Liam Lawrence, with the game at 2-2 at the time, he thinks we would have won: 'if we hadn't gone a man down we would have gone on and won the game.
'We were the better team and dominated the game for the first 65 minutes until the sending off.
'I thought we were excellent and passed the ball very well against a very good team. The fluency to our play was great and we were well worth three points. I'm very pleased with the way we played but really disappointed with the result.
'We created the best chances and played the better football at a very difficult place to get a result. That's why it's so frustrating. We feel very unlucky.'
To be honest I would not say we 'dominated' the game before the sending off, although we were very much in it and played some good football.
It was a well-balanced and patient away performance, without being negative most promisingly, with the set-up and use of the players in the roles that they filled almost spot on for me.
I had said my starting 11 would have been as follows:
It pretty much was that really was it not?
The sending off always was going to change the game, although it could have changed it either way!
I was not convinced of the penalty, I have only 'seen it' as it happened and I was at the other end of the ground - that is what really changed the game...
As for Lawro's - who I thought, as I wanted, was better suited in a more 'free role' - sending off, like Cotterill I could not really argue with the second booking, you could see that a mile off but the first is what confused me, then again so did a number of the 'harsh' bookings dished out.
On the sending off, and the penalty, Cotterill added: 'I have no problem with the second yellow, but Liam's first booking should never have been given.
'And it was never a penalty. It was ball to arm. It struck Jason Pearce and he couldn't get out of the way of it.
'But there was no point speaking to the referee about it. It gets you nowhere.'
Like I say sometimes you do not get what you deserve, on the day we deserved at least a point, had we not gone down to 10-men - or even conceded the penalty when we did, even with 10-men - a defeat would have 'probably' been at least a draw, but hey ho...
I cannot really fault too much from the day, if being 'ultra critical' you could maybe question the introduction of a defender, primarily, instead of a more attack minded player when 4-2 down. That seems like you are 'settling for a 4-2 defeat' as opposed to pushing on to try and get something, with 10-men is was tougher though and we could have got spanked so I guess losing 5-2 or even 6-2 when chasing the game 'might' have been more damaging than a 4-3 defeat, then again a defeat is a defeat either way!?
We had a good starting 11 - almost the best that we could go with, and this worked pretty well. We broke well, and in decent numbers playing some nice football, none of that 'long-ball' crap that we had seen against Cardiff, best of all we looked threatening.
If we can pose a little bit more of an attacking threat, pushing on a little more when at Fratton, we will get results no two ways about it - bring on Hull next week...
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