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2014/15 Pompey expectations - pompeyrug

Next up this summer to do the VP interview is pompeyrug, this is what they said...

1 - Did you enjoy the 2013/14 season?
In a word 'no!'

Although, for the purposes of a better interview, and in a few more I will say not as little as I would have had we not taken the brave, yet right, decision to sack Richie 'Barking' Barker who was not really an improvement on Guy and certainly does not have the mentality to be a manager...

In all honesty, not because 'we were crap again' - as a long-term Pompey fan I am used to that, it is what I grew up with - I was virtually at the point where I was packing it in, I was not willing to do 'one more season' because I felt I had to, or because 'it is what I do'. I had really had enough, it was hard enough leaving my wife and my life back in Devon behind every other weekend for the long train trek back and forth, but it was even harder for something I was 'not looking forward to' and sure as hell 'not enjoying' and had not for a long, long time on the whole.

All being well the end to last season is a sign of what is to come for Pompey under AA...

2 - What were you highs and lows of it?
Highs were definitely the end of season games under AA, the whole atmosphere under him lifted and it brought back this old spirit that the old girl had been lacking at Fratton, on a consistent basis, for donkies years.

The lows were virtually every other month before this, particular low points thought were 'Barking' continually going 'off on one' in the News. When he had basically said 'he did not care' what happened anymore I think that was one of the lowest points I can recall with Pompey in years, and we have had some lowest of the lows to the stage of almost becoming extinct!

3 - Did you genuinely fear relegation at any point?
Definitely, no two ways about it! Until it became abundantly clear RB had completely lost the plot, and there was no way back, I always felt that we would stay up because there would be two clubs worse than us.

We HAD to sack him, if not we were done - as soon as AA came in I was sure we would survive, not as easily as we did mind, but I knew we would. Such was the confidence I put a few 'cheeky punts' on - thank god they came in! - that helped towards our anniversary break in Paris and made sure I had money in the bank for the season ticket!

4 - Finally on 'the past' did the season fall above or below expectations?
In terms of league finish, in the end actually above what I expected this time last year but in terms of 'how it went' it was far worse! I thought it would be a toughie at times but it was NEVER meant to be that bloody hard and demoralising...

5 - What do you make of the transfer dealings - so far - incoming and outgoing?
Cracking, cannot say I know all of them but they come in with reputations that you seem to sense they deserve and are not claiming they will 'rip up' the league, but you feel they could!

I was confident that we would keep Wallace, delighted we have and think with his long-term future secured and us looking like we will be going in the right direction again he will be like a new signing really and the type of signing we could have only dreamt of getting during our decline...

It was a shame that Simon Ferry left, as I thought he made a difference when he returned towards the end of last season and showed what we had missed - that being said we cannot carry passengers and he was too injury prone. Not sure I buy the 'could not settle in the south' as he played for Swindon for a while before us so could not have been missing Scotland that much, but he hey I think we have the makings of an awesome midfield.

6 - Where would you like us to strengthen further, if we can?
I am pretty content to be honest with you and feel our defence could surprise us with Joe Devera being more instrumental than we might think. This, central defence in particular, might have been the only area I would have thought 'maybe one more' but think we will be ok.

7 - Who would be your early tip for player of the year?
Seriously hoping it is not Paul Jones, who I expect to be our no.1 goalie, as this will imply that he has had far too much too do and I do not want this to be the case.

If it were a striker they have, probably, scored a shed full but I think it will either be Wallace with him having a stormer or Hollands, who I would have almost gave player of the season to last year anyway! Fogden is another I think could be a real favourite this season.

8 - Is there a fixture(s) that you are most/least looking forward to?
Not really, had lost so much of my magic with footie that this has gone. The magic is coming back but not enough to think 'I cannot wait for that one', but as things stands I am looking forward to them all, which I have not in a while.

If pushed, perhaps Exeter as it is the closest game of the season for me and can give some family bragging rights!

9 - Do you think you will do many games in 2014/15?
The midweek games aside, which I seem to forgo these days, I would say most the home games as I renewed my ST. Exeter 'home' away at St James Park is one I will do and perhaps Plymouth but other than that I do think, when I would rarely miss a game, away games will be on my agenda again anytime soon given my life has changed over the years.

10 - Finally, what are your expectations for this season?
Last season was one I had as 'consolidation' for us to end around midtable, we actually bettered that with this season one that I expected us to challenge for promotion for. A lot happened last season but I think I retain my 'challenge for promotion' thoughts.

Now, given our signings and the others we retained if we are not top 7 I will be disappointed to be honest, I do think top 3 and even champions is on but not getting too carried away just yet...

Give these questions some thought then fire through some answers like pompeyrug has above.

1 - Did you enjoy the 2013/14 season?
2 - What were you highs and lows of it?
3 - Did you genuinely fear relegation at any point?
4 - Finally on 'the past' did the season fall above or below expectations?
5 - What do you make of the transfer dealings - so far - incoming and outgoing?
6 - Where would you like us to strengthen further, if we can?
7 - Who would be your early tip for player of the year?
8 - Is there a fixture(s) that you are most/least looking forward to?
9 - Do you think you will do many games in 2014/15?
10 - Finally, what are your expectations for this season?


Email (portsmouth@vitalfootball.co.uk) them through and I will share with others, making sure to include you username too.

So, who is next...

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday July 14 2014

Time: 9:59AM

Your Comments

Nice one ruggers! Sad that Foggie will miss the season.
eastneydave
Cheers Dave, still awaiting your answer tho!
pompeyrug
Or answers even!
pompeyrug
 

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