Date:Wednesday February 8 2012
Had Pompey managed to come away from St Andrew's with a point last night a number would have been 'surprised' I am sure, although had we managed this I do not think that few could have 'argued' with this as I reckon we were worthy of this.
Sadly we only came away with a 1-0 defeat on a bitterly cold night in the midlands...
As far as the effort goes, given all that is going on, Appy said that he could not have asked for more: 'we've got a decent bunch of lads who have had to take a lot of hits lately with what is going on off the pitch, so I can't have asked for any more effort.
'It's probably going to hurt for a couple of days, but we're trying to keep the players in a positive frame of mind.'
Yep, it will 'hurt' for a few days as we played well against a top team that quite possibly will gain automatic promotion.
I would say that we slightly shaded the 1st half, most definitely had the best chance of the half and from where I stood the effort from Joel Ward, after a fine Kelvin Etuhu run, looked destined for the bottom corner to give us a half time lead - but their keeper made a fantastic low saw...
In all honest I think I would agree with Appy's assessment though our 1st half showing was better, 2nd half we did not do quite enough with the breakaways that we had and let them put a little too much pressure onto us, for a concerted period of time, that eventually saw us crack: 'I was delighted with the first-half performance, where we kept our shape well, limited them to half chances and looked a threat.
'But in the second half we didn't do enough with the ball to threaten in behind them.
'We paid the price because we let them put balls into the box, and that cost us, because all it takes is a little bit of a lack of concentration or a bit of luck going against you and you can concede a goal.
'Birmingham are a good side who are unbeaten in the league at home this season, but I just felt we could have been a little bit cuter and could have asked them more questions.
'But Birmingham could change it a little bit and bring on the young lad Redmond who scored the goal and caused us some problems. When we were under the cosh we weren't in a position to bring anyone on to secure it up a little bit and take a point home.'
All it takes in one momentary lapse of concentration and you pay the price - we did just that, let our guard down and we were beaten...
I came away freezing cold but happy enough as I could not fault us too much for our nights efforts, sadly our problem - as it has been all season and for a few seasons - is that real lack of an attacking cutting edge. We are gradually working on this, with other areas improving all the time, but at the end of the day goals win games right!
Blackpool will be another tough game at the weekend but I do not think we should go their with huge fears, if we concentrate defensively and can find that little extra spark up front then anything is possible...
Appy finished by saying: 'we've got another tough game at Blackpool but if we show the same unity hopefully we'll get a more positive result.'
I find it such a shame that it has taken until we are literally on the brink to have found the best manager that we have had in years, that can get us playing as a team and is willing to bring younger players into the squad, as well as having a sound 'long-term' plan.
Lets just hope and pray that he can be given a genuine chance to continue building what he has started with Portsmouth Football Club...
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Date:Wednesday February 8 2012
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