Vital Football

The month that was...March

The month that was...March

Another month is gone; March also almost figment of our imagination - yet again, as with so many involving Pompey this season we wish some parts of it were well and truly banished from existence!

What did the month bring for Pompey though?

It is time to have a look back at a month that ended with Pompey making a second managerial change of the season, one that was needed though really.

Anyway time to take a butchers at what we thought and what actually happened...

Chesterfield v Pompey?
Chesterfield win 60%
Draw 20%
Pompey win 20%

Given that Chesterfield were league two leaders you could see why they were fancied with just 20% correct in going for a draw, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.

What an encouraging start to the month eh!

Not only had we played well, we looked a threat and played in a positive manor... that was about as good as it got under Richie Barker though to be honest during his reign, definitely the best it would get this month...

Pompey v Cheltenham?
Pompey win 84%
Draw 16%
Cheltenham win 0%

Well, if we went for a draw and were among the 16% you were right, a damp squid of a 0-0 draw.

Far from our worst showing of the season but also another pretty poor one all being said, which was definitely a let down compared to the game that we had seen a few days earlier with optimism increased.

Some 17,500 turned up on a glorious day, an opportunity to lure many back with another performance akin to the Spireites one was passed by.

Pompey v Burton?
Burton win 44%
Draw 33%
Pompey win 23%

33% were correct, that is if you were among them going for a draw as this was another 0-0 I think?

Once again we set-up 'not to lose' and did not go out too much 'looking to win'...

Fleetwood v Pompey?
Fleetwood win 57%
Draw 28%
Pompey win 15%

It was a Fleetwood win, they claiming a fairly comfortable 3-1 win in what was apparently another poor Pompey show, so 57% would have been correct.

Yep, they are challenging for promotion but had been 'up and down' so this could have been an opportunity if we had wanted it enough but with more chopping and changing and not enough attacking intent shown we suffered defeat again as the threat of relegation started to appear again.

Pompey v York?
Pompey win 40%
Draw 40%
York win 20%

Despite the form that York had been on confidence remained pretty high that defeat would be avoided, it was not though with 20% being correct with York completing the double with a 1-0 win.

Another 'miss mash' of a performance with the formation suspect with too many changes once again made - there was 'mild' improvement, but not by too many.

Pressure was building, both on the team and the manager...

Rochdale v Pompey?
Rochdale win 80%
Pompey win 11%
Draw 9%

Last time we played the side at the summit we raised our game and collected something, 80% expected nothing and they were right with us beaten 3-0 at Spotland.

The game started well enough, with some attacking intent shown but we then crumbled. In Barker's defence the team probably let him down but in all honesty he had let them down once too often with his constant berating of them and changing of the side.

This would prove to be his last in charge; he was sacked a few days later...

Newport v Pompey?
Pompey win 50%
Newport win 37%
Draw 13%

The month ended positively, we struggled at times against 10-men and then 9-men but 50% were correct in thinking that Andy Awford would start his caretaker reign with a win, which he did with the 2-1 win.

Some were brought back in from the cold with others being signed on loan - the balance was better and some belief was there. We panicked a bit towards the end but we got an important win to end the month on a high.

Monthly summary

6pts from a possible 18pts on offer looks better thanks to a win at Newport, before that 3pts from a possible 15pts up until Barker was sacked was another indication that not enough points were being collected.

Ok, perhaps the defeat were being reduced but stats of only 'x-amount of defeats in x-amount of games' were often misleading as too few of these involved wins with the Barker philosophy being defeat must be avoided first and foremost, anything else was a bonus.

Clearly he had lost the players, once he basically said 'he did not care' anymore that was that and he had to be sacked.

It is too soon to say what sort of an impact Awford has had but bringing some players back into the fold has clearly raised morale, we were better organised and more interested in scoring goals at Newport.

Obviously respect for the manager was being shown, Barker had lost anything he might have felt he deserved from all sides...

It will be interesting to see if we build on that win starting this weekend as the season moves into April and closer to its climax.

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Writer:pompeyrug
Date:Monday March 31 2014
Time: 8:34PM

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