Reflecting on Millwall defeat
Relegation into league one is almost a certainty for Pompey now following the disappointing defeat to Millwall on Tuesday night.
We started the game well, bar the opening couple of minutes. All in all we dominated 25-30-minutes of the opening 1st half but a failure to create too many clear-cut chances costs us.
Poor defending most definitely did cost us the goal with Millwall given far to much time on the ball on the edge of our area.
Appy said: 'we started the game really well. We got in behind them and down the sides. But we began over-playing, with people taking too many touches of the ball.
'Then we got hit by a sucker punch from a long punt upfield. We didn't deal with it and poor defending allowed them to score.
'The goal was a killer blow. The first goal is so important in football and you can't keep having to come from behind.'
In all honesty we were never really threatening in the 2nd half, it was all a bit frantic and the longer it went on the less likely we looked to get back into it - we did not even seriously test their keeper until the dying minutes...
We had no shape about us, the 1st half reshuffle did little to help us with that but confidence, energy and quality was exposed as lacking: 'in the second half the longer the game went on the more the confidence and energy drained out of the players. It was difficult to watch.
'A few of the players seemed to be fighting the ball rather than being at ease with it. We got into good areas of the pitch but then tended to over-hit and under-hit passes.
'It was frustrating and the players are as frustrated as I am. There weren't many options to change it because we had kids on the bench.
'But credit to Millwall - they play a very simple game with two banks of four and two men up front who work very hard. They do the basic side of the game well and made it very difficult for us.'
It will take a minor miracle for us to stay up now. 9pts adrift on Bristol City with only 12pts to play for, we would have to win all 4 games and hope that our relegation rivals lose all of their games...
All scenarios, in particular us wining 4 on the trot, are highly unlikely but while it is 'mathematically' possible Appy has to retain a sliver of hope: 'I'm not stupid and I know it's going to be very difficult. But there is still mathematically an opportunity and we'll be desperate to try to win the game at Doncaster on Saturday.
'There are still 12 points to play for and let's see if we can win four games. It's going to be very difficult, but it`s not impossible.
'If we win at Doncaster on Saturday and Bristol City lose at Birmingham then all of a sudden it's game on again. You just don't know.'
Unlikely, but not impossible but the realist in you has to say that we are going down - and the realist also has to say that over the course of the season we, probably, deserve it as we have not really been good enough.
I appreciate that we have had to operate in difficult, to say the least, circumstances but with or without a points penalty relegation would 'probably' have happened anyway - but while there is hope, albeit it very, very slim hope we have to fight on.
At the end of the day though our biggest worry now is not relegation to league one, I can cope with that, it is what will our future even be...
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