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Tough start but Pompey aim high

Even though we are not allowed to publish the fixtures for the 2007/08 season - we all know why - I think it is safe to say we all know what they are like.

Harry Redknapp has said in The News that Pompey's toughest ever start to a Premiership season 'will not wreck his plans for another top 10 finish.'

'We couldn't have been given a harder start than we have. It's an incredible first six games. But that's how it goes. We've got to play them.

'In all honesty, I would rather play the big sides later.

'I think a good time to play the big four is towards the end of the season, when they're heavily involved in the Champions League, FA Cup and whatever.

'The opening day at Derby will a tough one. It's never easy against a side very early in the season when they've just come up.

'You would much rather play them six or seven weeks into the season when they've come back down to earth.

'But it's exciting to see the fixtures. I'm looking forward to the season.

'But it's going to be the toughest Premier League ever.

'Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa are all spending money. And Sunderland, who are going for David Nugent, will be strong.'

We have to play the top dogs at some point so starting off against them is not that much of a concern for me. After all we will all be in the same boat, so no one can have excuses for anything and if we are hungry enough we will do well - and I think we will despite what the 'experts' think.

Redknapp went on to add 'If we can finish in the top half again, it will be amazing.

'I did it three years in a row when I was at West Ham. But it's not an easy thing to do.

'Spurs, who are a massive club, went nine years between the mid-90s and 2005 not finishing in the top eight. That shows how hard it is to get up there.

'And it's why I'd settle for a top-half finish every season.'

Yes it will be a tough season - with a good handful of clubs having the same thinking as we do - but if lessons are learned from the last one we should enjoy it even more.

Much like I said when the fixtures were released I would much rather have the season ending the way it is than the way it starts. I feel if we are in with a chance at a Uefa Cup place in the final 10 games or so we will get it this season on that basis - but would settle for matching last season efforts at least.


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday June 18 2007

Time: 6:41PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
top half is not an improvement, 7th would be an improvement.
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18/06/2007 18:52:00

I know 7th IS IN the top half, my point was to improve you must aim higher than what you have acheived. LoL actually winning away, consistent good performances and scoring goals for the entire season would all in fact be improvements
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 18:56:00

If we can be consistent, then theres no reason why we cant be in the top 7. Ifwe froget about the start of this year, we played some of the most atractive footbll in the premiership. long may it live.
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 19:19:00

oh, and if we can get the same start as last season (5 games without conceding)...that would be nice :)
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 19:26:00

cant wait!!! bring on the big guns! when we get hold of Henry & drogba as our strikers the leagues for it! :)
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 19:39:00

Well the defence is stronger, the midfield is too, it only needs a couple of good srikers and bob's yer uncle. In fact, a couple of crap strikers and a bit of luck would probably do it too. If Kanu stays and we manage to buy Yakubu, I reckon we are good for a European place. Which one though?
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 20:02:00

We look at the back & the middle but until we sign 2 top strikers it will very tough achieving anything like 9th. I expect Bolton & Reading to drop out but expect West Ham, Newcastle, Villa to finish a lot higher than last season. Fckin awful first 6 games but we have to get on with it & go to Derby & go at them from the off. None of the try & get draw crap we usaully do, otherwise we lose.
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 20:16:00

to add to stroage matts west ham, newcastle and villa, i think Sunderland could be the "surprise package" - and possibly emulate Readings start, whilst derby, wigan and birmingham are all proably favourites for the drop? - a good start against derby and who know what will happen for us - but lets hope its good.
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 21:56:00

i am not frightened about facing anyone - if we have a go we can beat anyone in this league home or away, well maybe not away ;) and maybe only if we get some real strikers... when - not if, as i am confident - we get these strikers we will be looking forward to the opening games even more... following on from storagematt point i would rather we lost and had a go rather than ****** foot around looking for a point when we are away - get the strikers we want and i think we will be more inventive away from home as we will know we can score...
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 22:01:00

i only type 'p u s s y foot' around and it was filtered out - but i know why tho... just wanted to clarify incase people thought i was blaspheming :)
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18/06/2007 22:03:00

well, weve proven time and again that we are capable of beating anyone (apart from chelski) at home, on our day, so we shouldnt be worrying. Oh, and just to be picky, you original comment had 6 asterixes, but you only filled it with 5 letters...:) just wanted to be peedantick
Report Abuse
18/06/2007 22:33:00

Well I have a good feeling about this season, strikers permitting, I think we'll win our first 3 matches and be top after two weeks. We should cope with Derby's long ball, industrial football comfortably, and Man Utd must hate the sight of Fratton (do we count as a kind of bogey team to them yet?) so we must have a chance to catch them before they get into their stride and Bolton - hate them, if we don't beat Bolton this time I will be looking for an exposed beam to tie me rope to!
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 08:12:00

I think Harry needs at least a couple of strikers once Kanu has gone. Midfield and defence look absolutely fine (famous last words?). With regard to the fixture list, it doesn't matter if we play the top four early on as we have to play them at some point surely? I think Man U and Chelsea will dominate again, Arsenal might drop out the top four at the expense of Spurs, Liverpool will still be a cup team, Bolton will struggle midtable along with Newcastle, Sunderland should be ok, the relegation places will be fought out amongst Wigan (Harding gone by Xmas), Fulham (Sanchez gone by November), Derby, and Manchester City. West Ham should spend enough to recover from last year. Middlesbrough will flatter to decieve as always, Everton will do top 10 again, and Pompey will finish top table after a stuttering start.
The Rabbi
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 08:52:00

thats top half of the table not top of the table. fingers got a bit carried away!
The Rabbi
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19/06/2007 08:53:00

i will just pray even more that we can beat bolton Et_tu_Pompeii as i dont want to hear stories of you being 'cut down' the following day, or something along the lines of blah, blah, blah - 'before turning the gun on himself' :) i woul settle for 7 points from the opening 3, but cannot see why we could not get all 9... stuttering start an top of the table will do me Rabbi! it wasn't a case of fingers getting carried away really was it - you believe this will happen... agreed mate, top half at least equaling last season but ideally bettering will do me...
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 09:27:00

Well last year I knew we would get a great start and struggle in the second half of the season - this year I'm worried about our start big time! First game against promoted team away - liverpool last year drew with Sheff United away with a dubious Gerrard penalty - verdict 1 point at best. 2nd game Charlton lost 3-0 at home to the chanmpions last year in their second game - verdict don't count on us beating Fergies men again with all our new players settling in: verdict 1 point at best. 3rd game: Portsmouth lost to Sammy Lee's team last year at home and they'll be confident after playing Newcastle at home and Fulham away - verdict if we lose this crucial home game will the confidence drop ? I'll predict a draw ! 4th game : The team we always seem to lose 2-0 against. 5th game: Can you see us winning at the Emirates - remembering we probably haven't won yet? 6th game vs the Champions League finalists at home with a full strength side this time - draw at best. 7th game to Souness's men who we lost 3-0 away to last year - draw at best; 8th game The Blue and White hoops at home - I can see the headlines "Big spending Portsmouth who have yet to win a game...." If we begin the first 8 games without a win how will that affect the confidence of the team? I could imagine maybe 3 draws, or at best a win and 3 draws. That's how West Ham found themselves in the relegation myre last year. If such a bad start does occur then the confidence of the team could significantly drop for when the "easier" games come along. So my prediction is this: If by a miracle we're in the Top 10 after playing Reading I'll pick us for Europe or even the Champions League. If we're in the bottom five then we may struggle all the way up until the last 10 "easier" games of the season. Confidence in the Premiership is really important !!
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 09:52:00

blimey! I think you could do with my rope now! Don't worry, It'll all be fine.
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 10:41:00

whilst not being quite as neagtive as StuartM i see 7 points from 12 i feel he is in essence right, and i cant accept Rabbi's assertion that the fixture list doesnt make a difference, momentumn played a massive part in our last season, momentum gained from confidence of winning. Harry and TA both commented on the same. We saw that as soon as we lost monentum, stoped looking strong, teams gained confidence against us and we dropped out of contention. result no euro place and this season some targets prefer to go to other places or we have to pay over the odds to get them to join.
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 15:55:00

Dont worry everybody, Et_Tu will probably use a bungee instead of a rope..... the post mortum will say "for some unexplained reason Et_Tu smashed his brains out on an exposed beam" cause of death mis adventure, timing just after sammy lee's speach on MoTD. have to get a cup of tea now as my sides hurt.
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 16:02:00

forgot to mention adjacent to the body police found a suicide rant
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 16:03:00

RIP Et_Tu_Pompeii long may he rest...
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 17:15:00

oh, wait...we havnt lost to bolton yet...and i dont think we will. The beggining is one of the better times to play the top four - they wont be on a run either, apart from chelski not losing at home...but we should be ok for those games, particualy with a good away win against derby - Muntari and toddy to get our goals :D
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 17:17:00

i said that about ManU they are traditionally slow to start so i gave us a point there, Im also not convinced we will lose to bolton, but i would still like to see Et_Tu_ Po0mpeii bouncing up and down under a beam, i wonder if he is pompey pessimist in disguise. I miss the pessimist, he used to make me laugh
Report Abuse
19/06/2007 17:31:00


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