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A touch of realism

I think that the weekend 0-0 draw with West Ham enabled us to bring a bit of perspective to things, and maybe - myself included - might have needed it for us to take stock of things.

Expectation levels seemed to have gone through the roof recently, so whilst I was admittedly disappointed that we 'only' drew at the weekend - with the draw feeling like defeat after the missed penalty! - it did serve as a bit of a wakeup call for us not to get overly carried away, because as far as we have come we still have a long way to go and we are not quite as good - yet! - as we might have thought.

Do not get me wrong 4 wins out of 5 - with 3 of these being on the road - is phenomenal form, but we do have to remain grounded and maybe we had got a little ahead of ourselves - I say this as the atmosphere was disappointing by our usual high standards. We started well but the West Ham fans - who are good admittedly - out did us, this is a rarely achieved feat against Pompey, virtually unheard of at Fortress Fratton.

We are still flying, so we need to remember this, but we also have to remember we have a long way to go yet until we reach the level that maybe people might have started to think we already had - but we cannot let these expectation levels impact on our support at the Fortress, when we are flat so too are the team more often than not, so we raise each other.

It has been a fantastic season so far, but we need to keep remembering how far we have come so quickly, so we also have to remember we need to walk before we can run. This fantastic season could get even better but lets keep a sense of realism about things too. Sure we must be disappointed or frustrated when things do not go quite our way but lets also keep things in perspective, we might not have won this 5th game running, but we extended the unbeaten run.

We have to 'bask' in the glory as I recently said, but we also have to take the rough with the smooth - and if the 'roughest' it gets is 'only' a draw at home that cannot be bad can it - and, an old cliché I know but take things a step at a time, or a block of games at a time.

I am not trying to be all doom and gloom as I am as caught up in things as most and really do think we are in for a great season, but we have to maintain that sense of realism and not heap too much pressure on. We are in a great position and I genuinely do feel that on our day we can beat anyone now, but lets just enjoy the ride, get excited but not carried away too much...

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 30 2007

Time: 10:10AM

Your Comments

We have come a long way in a short space of time but that shouldn't limit our ambition. if you remember back in 2003/4 after three matches we were top of the division. Most people knew it wouldn't last and enjoyed the moment. Lets not repeat that now. if after ten games we are top six, as we are now, why shouldn't we be there after 38 games. I know there is a self appointed top four in the Premiership but that doesn't mean they have to occupy the top four spots. If we had taken our chances from the penalty spot against Liverpool and West Ham we would now be top three on merit. It wouldn't be down to luck, it would be down to results. This is our fifth season in the top tier. lets drop the mentality that we are visiting it briefly and set our sights a lot higher. I'm sure Chelsea fans wouldn't have banked on winning the title back in 2002? Why can't we?
The Rabbi
i dont have the mentality that we are visiting where we are briefly at all mate - i fully believe we are here to stay, but in all reality we have only just been where we currently are for 12 months, expecting a uefa cup place is a fair aim, but expecting anything more just yet is not on is it, hoping for something more is okay tho... we may well get more, but i dont think we should raise this expectation too high too soon.
pompeyrug
I never thought champions league was really an option, I think man city were also daring to think that champions league was an option and then they met chelsea. i can see it being the same 4 clubs like always, but the 3 places for europe, (if a champions league team win the FA cup) then we have a great chance.
PompeyGleamer
im not sure why no-one thought man city would be top 4, and we could be - but people suggested it. they EXPECT us to grind out results. unfortunalty, we havnt been. well, we got to within a penalty kick away from, then our usuallly selfless strikers became arrogant, and took away our chance. we cant get the results when we arnt playing, so we wont be top 4.
pompeycarpet
I'll second the Rabbi. With the salaries we're carrying we should expect to at least challenge the big four. Thank you Sascha G !
Toronto4Pompey
in terms of sallaries, i think we are still quite a way behind the top 4. and i dont even think we are top 6 (man city/west ham? there salaries must be pretty big?)
pompeycarpet
Yeah but we're not Derby County either mate. Point is, there's good reason for expectation to be high, despite how Harry might try to dampen it.
Toronto4Pompey
Rabbi, I come back from abroad a weary traveler and your words are drops of ointment to my eyes, i agree, it's what i said last year why shouldn't we be top four, why shouldn't we expect to stay up there. its why i get angry at games like the west ham match when we dreadfully under perform, when Benji screws up another penalty, when professionals aren't and all those other rants i have. I want us to win everything or at least go down fighting with a bit of class. I don't believe in the big four forever theory. Stuff em, expectation should not ever be too high we should play to win!
russellm
Hear hear ! Those that don't put out 100% sit on the bench.
Toronto4Pompey
Sam hing happened last er, albei laer in the seasn, it's the mannerof he game that annoys me, there were too many players that went missing, sorry to tell you russ (if you werent there) we missed sean davis. we lost he battle in midfield, and none of them rolled up thier sleeves and battled.
pompey4me
wow, lots of typo's there. Same thing happened last year, albeit later in the season, it's the manner of the game that .........
pompey4me
To quote Muhammed Ali... Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill. We have to want to be at the top, both the players and the fans, we have to believe - which is different to expecting. We have to have the will to win, the will to grind out results even when playing badly. If and when we lose, I agree with Russell, the team should give it everything and never leave us thinking they could have put more effort in. The big four have no God-given right to be there. If we think that then we may as well all stay at home.
NinjaTim
Nicely put NinjaTim
The Rabbi
We didn't have the spark. Will have to see what effect the cup game has midweek & see what they are made of up north where we have a habit of playing 5hit & usually getting fck all.
storagematt
Ninja - Nice words and although I agree completely that the top 4 have no god given right to stay there (or think they can without effort) I don't think the current Pompey squad have what's required 'DEEP' inside them ... Don't get me wrong it's great seeing the best team we've had for years but there's a lot of work to be done and a few more additions required if we are to even think about breaking into it ... and staying there (would that then become our god given right !) If what we require is to match Ali's words then on the evidence of the past two matches (West Ham & Blackburn) we have a very long way to go.... As I always say 'Safety first' I know that winds a lot of you fellas up but I've seen too many false dawns... but as I said earlier that doesn't mean I don't want success or that I'm not enjoying our current position.... I am... Things take time and if we build (as we are) on and off the field in a controlled and considered manner things and attitudes (maybe even mine) will slowly adapt .... Play Up Pompey
Chix
 

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