Date:Sunday April 1 2012
Did anyone really see a 'Portsmouth 1 Burnley 5' scoreline coming at half time in our game at Fratton on Saturday?
I know that I did not for sure!
We lacked the intensity of last Tuesday night against Hull, but then again it was always going to be tough to recreate that for another 90-minutes, but I would have at least expected, or hoped, for something near to it...
To be fair the 1st half was not bad, we played some great football at times and opened Burnley's defence up at will we just failed to find that killer final pass and on several occasions we really should have!
To have gone in 1-1 at half time was ok though, but Burnley were really up for it in the 2nd half and we were abysmal, and paid the ultimate price in the end with a massive defeat that seriously dents our survival hopes...
Appy was pretty happy with the 1st half but the 2nd half was 'unacceptable'.
A spanking has not hurt him too much, it was the way in which we allowed ourselves to be spanked that did: 'it was a good first half for us apart from switching off for their corner. That was very frustrating because we had showed the players Burnley's set-plays over and over again, and that routine was one of them.
'But we got back into the game, scored and had so many opportunities to go ahead.
'We should have killed them off in the first half. But we didn't and the second half was unacceptable.
'It wasn't the size of the defeat, it was the way individuals failed to compete the way they should have done. Too many of them lost their individual battles.
'Three of the five goals should have been dealt with very easily. We lost our discipline and ended up chasing the game. We gave them far too much space.'
To be fair to Burnley the chances that they had they took, clinical finishing - even if we aided them in getting the chances - is what they were all about on the day, well the 2nd half!
With Scum coming up next weekend, and I doubt many will expect much from that, Burnley was a game that we really had to win.
A 'missed opportunity' has certainly be had but Appy believes taking on Scum is an 'ideal game' to look to bounce back in: 'we've lost out on an opportunity to claw ourselves within range of getting out of the bottom three.
'It's going to be very difficult. But there are six games left and while we still have a chance we'll try to pick up as many points as we can.
'Going into the Burnley game I felt it was one we should win. But now we've put ourselves in trouble and it's going to take one mighty effort at the league leaders on Saturday but I can't think of a better game to have next. We'll do a bit of soul searching and hopefully get a different result next week. We've got a week to prepare and take our frustrations out on Southampton.'
Without a doubt Scum will be the favourites but I would not, at all, write off our chances of getting something - league positions, and form, count for little when it comes to a derby!
'If' we want it enough we can take it, and another big 'if' is that if Rickie Lambert misses out for Scum again we have an even better chance of getting something.
Yep it will be tough, even tougher than it was looking before the Burnley game, to avoid relegation but we cannot - and I would hope that players will not - throw in the towel until its mathematically impossible!
Problem is we cannot string together wins, winning one and then losing the next isn't going to keep us up is it!
Even so, as long as this club lives on, relegation is by no means the end of the world is it anyway...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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Date:Sunday April 1 2012
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|7. Bristol Rovers||5||3||0||2||1||9|
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