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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

'Arry targets European qualification

One victory does not mean the end of a 'sticky patch' but hopefully the win over Reading has brought an end to our recent bad form? This bad form has seen us slip away slightly after such a promising start.

We started so well last season, but a second half blip saw us miss out on Europe, but as Harry Redknapp has told The News he is eager for us not to repeat this again this season and has Europe in his sights: 'I would obviously like to get into Europe with Portsmouth this year, that would be a terrific achievement.

'I would settle for sixth spot, for sure. I think it's going to be tight.

'It will be tough but if we could do that it would be lovely.

'We went through a dicky spell in a similar position last year. But are stronger this year, we are a better team in all honesty.

'It would be lovely if we could seal it. If we don't it's still the best times Portsmouth have had for 50 years'.

This is good to hear from Redknapp, and makes a change from a lot of his recent 'we're only Portsmouth' comments and so on, I like hearing this, long may it continue. He is right, we are a year better, much stronger and a much better side.

Our away form is currently the best in the country - which is quite bizarre given our appalling away form down the years - so if we can retain this throughout the season and also overcome whatever demons are holding us back at home despite the upcoming African nations we are going to have a fantastic chance of making it into Europe for the first time.

This is a hope, in fact a dream that we all have but it is something that we are thinking could be a realistic one. For now my aims remain just to match - at least - what we achieved last season, but ideally better that. If we are still there or thereabouts in a couple of months time then thoughts really will be turning 100% towards the promised lands of Europe...

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 2 2008

Time: 8:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
...find it hard to beleive you can call 3pts behind 4th "slipping away" - but then, looking at our position in the league, we have a little bit. I hope we can get to the holy land, even if it is via the intertoto cup, or winning the fa cup (if we can...)
pompeycarpet
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02/01/2008 20:05:00

Thats better from 'arry isnt it? A bit of positivity and ambition, it can only rub off on the players.
pompey4me
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02/01/2008 22:27:00

We want it, now maybe we can look toward it rather think ourselves lucky to be in the top half, progress means bettering the year before.
paultsmouth
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02/01/2008 22:33:00

With the outlay last summer after finishing 9th we should make Europe on paper but others have strengthened too. The key for me now is our home form we must start winning and keep on winning. That and two or three more away wins should see us make it.
eastneydave
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02/01/2008 22:47:00

Or keep winning away and manage 3 or 4 home wins would do it, I fear our away/home records have just switched from last year
paultsmouth
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02/01/2008 22:53:00

But 'arry does have a point, if we had won even a just 4 of the home games we SHOULD have won, we would now be very comftably in the champions league (3rd place, whilst 2 wins would take us into 4th place). If we COULD get our home record going again, we could finish VERY strongly...
pompeycarpet
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02/01/2008 22:54:00

I have great faith in Harry and Tony and am amazed they have not sorted the home tactics out yet. Europe is fine but my dream would be to beat Liverpool to 4th place. THAT is Pompey really arriving and staking a claim. Sort it out boys.
Et_tu_Pompeii
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02/01/2008 23:29:00

I know we should take each step at a time, and realise that other teams have also strengthened over the summer, but I'd be gutted if we don't make Europe this year. I know there's a lot of merit in the argument that we should change formation and line-up at home. But I can't help thinking that if these players can produce such excellent results away, it must be a confidence issue that is stopping us beating teams like Spurs and Boro at home. We just need to get behind the players and urge them to get the ball on the ground and play it around like we know we can and we'll unlock teams. But we've got to stop hoofing it hopefully up the park in a desperate attempt to score.
NorthStandDan
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03/01/2008 09:10:00

Can I just say how sad I am that poor Joey Barton is banged up at the moment and facing a court case . . . . . . bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Et_tu_Pompeii
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03/01/2008 10:32:00

follow the trends...we just miss out on relegation, then we just miss out on uefa cup...so this year, we are going to just muss out on champions league...and next year... ..if we could just keep the ball down, we might be able to hold posession, and hope utaka makes a run into space, or someone sees an opening - we wont just get lucky...
pompeycarpet
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03/01/2008 10:32:00

being completely honest i too would be gutted if we missed out on europe again...
pompeyrug
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03/01/2008 11:59:00

Games are generally tougher in the second half of the season with teams fighting for Europe or to avoid relegation or whatever... if we can double our 31 points from 19 games then 62 will virtually guarantee 7th place and 'possibly' (depending on the outcomes of the cup competitions) Europe ... ^2 is my magic number it would have worked last year ... all we have to do is the same as we did in the first half season
Chix
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03/01/2008 18:45:00

The away games will be tougher as we have to go to most of our rivals fro Euro spots - Everton, City and even the Hammers. The home games we have a lot of strugglers - Derby, Sunderland, Fulham, Wigan and Birmingham which we MUST win. Interesting times ahead.
eastneydave
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03/01/2008 19:50:00

No doubt via the Inter Toto.
storagematt
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03/01/2008 22:13:00

agreed eastneydave, hopefully our away form can keep up, and its nice to see harry saying something other than "5 years ago we were fighting relegation in the division 1"
jbaker
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04/01/2008 15:14:00

 

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