Date:Saturday April 11 2009
Pompey face another side sitting amongst them at the foot of the table, this time its West Brom who are rooted to the foot of the table.
Brom though have refused to shift from their ideals of passing football, very comendable but its not reaping the benefits right now and is in total contrast to Paul Brom though have refused to shift from their ideals of passing football, very comendable but its not reaping the benefits right now and is in total contrast to Paul Brom though have refused to shift from their ideals of passing football, very comendable but its not reaping the benefits right now and is in total contrast to Paul Hart's 'Dog's of war' siege mentality.
Hart is definitely laying his cards firmly on the table, its a clean sheet first, anything else is a bonus, but is this the right tactics to play against a team suspect at the back?
I'm not going to knock Paul Hart and Brian Kidd in any way, they got Pompey believing in themselves again after Tony Adams' ill-fated tenure, I just feel safety could of come a bit quicker if we had been a bit more cavalier at times against teams on the ropes such as Stoke, 'Boro and Hull where we drew when another 6 points so easily could of been in the bag right now.
Pompey lose Glen Johnson after his disgraceful sending off last week, the way he took the Hull man out by running within 5 yards of him should of meant a lifetime ban.
This however should see Kaboul remain at right-back with Pennant re-claiming his right wing spot, a change many expected last week after the loanee's impressive start to his Pompey career.
Sean Davis will be absent again with his gashed knee, this will probably mean another start for Richard Hughes with Basinas left on the bench once more, while Hughes never lets us down, both he and Mullins have a limited game, neither will provide a killer pass but both provide solid cover in the middle.
Niko is the main playmaker of the side, so with a limited amount of attack minded players in the middle the onus will be on the Croat to provide the balls for the strike force, and up his game from last weeks lacklustre performance.
Meite may return after sitting it out since the disaster between Ivory Coast and Malawi, he is said to be fine now and should come in to bolster a wobbly defence.
Hopefully Carson will be the busiest man on the pitch today, Jamo's England rival will need to be solid to get the Baggies anything.
Looking into the stats for this match it was like looking at Pompey's away record against most top flight teams, did you know they haven't beaten us at Fratton since 1958? That was against a team ready to fall from grace in the top tier and not return for another 30 years, so hopefully not an omen!!
Neville Staples (rough-on-the-neck)
Got to be win today hasn't it? Not expecting pretty football, but although some people are saying its not a 'must win' I disagree and a win today would leave Pompey looking up rather than over their shoulders, hedge your guess here.
Bolton at Fratton once more
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Date:Saturday April 11 2009
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