Date:Saturday December 31 2011
When you hear the phrase 'unleash the monster' it conjures up all sorts of things - or is that just my warped mind!
Ahem, anyway, that was the message that Appy gave Marko Futacs before the game against Leicester.
And he did just that!
Futacs' goal, quite a thunderous strike, on his first Pompey start answered his managers call with Appy saying: 'I've seen in training over the last six weeks what Marko's got. I see him score goals like that all the time.
'I said to the staff about three weeks ago that I thought there were a few people who had missed a trick with Marko. I think the boy's got talent.
'I told Marko before the game that he's got a fantastic strike with either foot, so just go and unleash the monster. And he certainly did that with his goal. It was a great finish.'
The Hungarian might not have the energy of a 'Benjani' and might not chase everything down like him although he still put in a good shift today I thought and on the evidence of this showing there does seem to be some promise about him.
He needs to learn not to give the ball away so cheaply though.
His challenge now is to keep repeating this sort of showing to first of all stay in the team and then make his mark on the nopower: 'we've been drumming into him that he needs to stay in central areas and not go chasing everything down. We need him to be a target man, and he did that very well against two experienced centre-halves in Bamba and Mills.
'But we'll keep reminding him that it's one game and one goal. He's got to keep repeating that kind of performance if he wants to stay in the team and make an impact in the Championship.'
As for the performance itself Appy felt it was 'good.'
And I think good is the least you could say about it, although were we as good as we seemed at times or were Leicester just poor?
'The performance was good and we created a lot of chances. Apart from the goal, we defended well. I think we've looked very hard to beat lately.
'We've worked really had in training and hopefully we're getting our reward. Hopefully we look dangerous in attack and Scrooge-like at the back.'
Having taken the lead letting Leicester back into the game so soon after was disappointing, more so that the defending to let Dave Nugent in with a free header was so poor.
Now that did not please Appy and left him 'frustrated': 'I had to keep calm at half-time because I was raging inside about the goal we conceded. It took a lot of self-control from me not to lose it.
'You can't allow free headers in the middle of the box to someone like David Nugent. Most of the players played with him here last season. That's what makes it so frustrating.'
Hands up those that before the game would have taken a point?
I suspect a fair few would say they would but after it I cannot help but feel 'slightly disappointed' that we did not get more because I certainly think that we deserved this!
We looked more threatening, all in all, when we were attacking and created the better chances but if you do not take them then you will not win matches - this is the story of our season, and our recent history in fact.
Alas this is a positive note in which to end the year!
So this is certainly something to build on again and we must take this into 2012 and start the New Year as we ended 2011, although this time lets have a performance and a win when we take on Watford on Monday...
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Date:Saturday December 31 2011
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