Pompey season review - February
Summer, August, September, October, November, December 2006 and January 2007 have been reviewed. We stuttered at the end of 2006 but had virtually stalled at the start of 2007! It was hoped February would see things improve.
First up came the tip to the JJB for the match with Wigan on Saturday 3rd. Gary O'Neil missed out and Djimi Traore and Matty Taylor were left out of the starting side as Noe Pamarot, Richard Hughes and Rudolph Douala - for his first league start - came in.
We kicked off hoping for an improvement in our form, but a very poor showing - the worst of the season - saw a team struggling at the wrong end want it more and Lee McCulloch won it in the 68th minute.
The 1-0 defeat to Wigan saw us drop out of the top 6 for the first time that season as we slipped to 7th.
Pompey returned to Fratton on Saturday 10th as 19,334 turned out for the meeting with City. Six changes - some enforced, some not - saw Linvoy Primus, Lauren, Richard Hughes, Rudolph Douala Kanu and Benjani out as Djimi Traore, Gary O'Neil, Sean Davis, Matty Taylor, Lomana LuaLua and Andrew Cole come in.
A change in fortunes was badly needed, something had to give or the hard work from the early months of the season would count for nothing - and we made the perfect start as Pedro Mendes scored another cracker against City in the 5th minute. He was pulling the strings until he was cut down again by a City player, this time Joey Barton. This incensed Harry Redknapp and he got sent to the stands. Bernado Corradi made matters worse as he capitalised on a defensive mistake to equalise for City in the 62nd minute. With a deserved 3 points looking like it may only be the 1, substitute Kanu came on to grab the winner in the 81st minute.
The 2-1 win over City got us back on track but we remained in 7th.
A short month came to an end - after a two week break - with a trip to Ewood Park to play Blackburn on Sunday 25th. The only change from the previous match saw Linvoy Primus return in place of Djimi Traore.
Amazingly Pedro Mendes was able to return from the injury picked up a few weeks earlier, but injury forced him off just after half time with January arrival Arnold Mvuemba coming on for his Pompey debut. By this time the game was already lost though! A double from Shabani Nonda (1st and 25th minutes) and a 50th minute goal from Stephen Warnock saw it over. David James denied Nonda a hat trick when he saved his penalty. Déjà vu anyone? The opening game saw scorelines reversed with a penalty save denying a hat trick also.
A 3-0 defeat to Blackburn saw us drop further off the pace to 8th.
Another month of poor showings and poor results - two defeats out of three - really looked to have threatened our European dreams. We were more than safe, which was the main thing but was all the good at the start of the season going to count for nothing? Our form had seen us drop a further two places from the start of the month to a seasons low of 8th.
PLAY UP POMPEY!