Reflecting on Watford defeat
Not such an 'Appy day' for Pompey as our away day blues continued with the customary away defeat in Michael Appleton's first game in charge...
Following the 2-0 defeat at Watford Appy said that he 'learnt a lot' about the players following this defeat: 'I learnt a lot from that, particularly about individuals.
'It gives me a lot to ponder over the coming weeks about certain players and their attributes and what they can bring to the team and squad.'
At least it was at the start of his time as manager, and not several games into it, but the players have been told privately - and now publicly - that it was 'not good enough' and they have to 'take responsibility' for this: 'hopefully that will be a blessing in disguise. I'm glad it was my first game and not after five or six matches.
'We let in a very early goal, but I said to the players that we still had 88 minutes and stoppage time to do something about it.
'I think the more players we have to take responsibility, the better opportunity we'll have of coming back from conceding early goals.'
What I would say that I like is the fact that it is a no pretty much nonsense reflection by Appy.
The players were not good enough, he has not tried to sugar coat this or trot out lines such as 'we were unlucky', 'we deserved more', 'how did we lose that' etc!
We lost, we were not good enough, we admit as much simple as...
By all accounts the most impressive performer was Abdul Razak, all this despite only being on the field for 20-minutes: 'it wasn't good enough and I told the players. There of a lot of experienced players in the dressing room who have played at a higher level, but it said it all that an 18-year-old kid came on and tried to put his foot on the ball and show a little bit composure.
'You would have expected that from the players we already had on the field.
'I expect the performances to be better and I'm sure they will be over the coming weeks.'
Again, whilst it is of little consolation really this honest and open review is something that I would rather see we get - all being well we will not have to see too much of this in the weeks, months and years ahead mind...
Lets remember though that Rome was not built in a day, a new manager 'should' bring new, and fresh, ideas but the players remain the same so it will take a bit of time to implement the ideas that Appy has into their heads, and in time lets just hope that he does this.
'Freshening the squad up' is something he hopes to do though: 'I'm not going to get too despondent. I've only been in the building eight or nine days and I'm still learning about the players and what their best positions are. We've got to make sure we get the right balance and sometimes you've got to make decisions to improve that.
'We have a small squad and I would like to bring in two or three new faces. If we can add a bit of quality and freshen things up, I think it will do everyone the world of good.'
Yep it is a disappointing start to the Appy reign, but lets put things into context, we have not won away since March so it is not as if it is an experience that is new to us - that said, with all due respect to Watford, this is a game that we would have been looking at with the 'expectations' of coming away from with something, a point at least.
Our home form is the real key to our season, we return to Fratton next weekend against Leicester so lets hope that his first taste of football at home is a better one...
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