Date:Tuesday November 9 2010
The bitter taste of defeat, although to be honest not as bitter as it could have been in the past, was felt at the weekend - taking on unbeaten table toppers QPR will either be fantastic or a disaster!
All of this is assuming the game even goes ahead as a pitch inspection is needed...
Our best run of results for some 8-years ended at the weekend when we pretty much rolled over and handed The Rams, who you would have thought were Lions, the 3pts at Pride Park - credit where it is due though Derby looked a quality side.
Further credit, also where due to be fair, must go to Steve Cotterill - in all honesty I felt that he aided our downfall and being the bigger man he has admitted, with the benefit of hindsight, he made a mistake with the way he set up.
Something has to give tonight though as a run of wins at Fortress Fratton will either end or continue, as could QPR's unbeaten start to the season?
With a smallish squad keeping injuries and suspensions to a minimum is a must and thankfully the only absentee tonight is Dave Nugent - knee.
The gamble of playing Greg Halford on the right side of midfield did not pay off so I suspect he will return to right back tonight with Joel Ward the man to miss out with Nadir Ciftci quite possibly coming in to play that right hand side?
It would be easy, and for me I think too easy, to pick out Liam Lawrence. It goes without saying he is a key player and WILL want to improve on the weekends showing, admitting as much, but for me I think it is time for Dave Kitson to be offering more and tonight is a good starting point!
To be honest I think his first touch, which was fantastic, has pretty much deserted him recently and he seems to spend more time moaning and groaning than grafting, like he was when he first came in. I want to see 'The Ginger Ninja' that we were seeing when we first got him and NOT 'The Ginger Whinger' that we have seen over the past few games.
Bradley Orr - suspension - is out but Clint Hill - rested - will return by all accounts. Heidar Helguson - shoulder - will undergo a fitness test to see if he can feature.
Former Pompey players Shaun Derry and Tommy Smith, who I think should get a decent reception from the Fratton Faithful, will be familiar faces when they 'probably' make the starting 11.
I could have gone for Smithy or Derry, or even Paddy Kenny who is 'said' to have been very impressive for QPR this season, but lets face it the man getting all the rave reviews is the sometimes unpredictable but without a doubt fantastic talent Adel Taarabt. He will create something out of nothing and punish us if we let him.
In 34 previous meetings in total QPR hold a 13-10 lead, with 11 draws. At Fratton though we are 7-5 ahead with 5 draws.
The last meeting came in April 2001, in the old division one (now championship), at Fratton where it ended in a 1-1 draw.
Lord Flash Heart.
We are not the unstoppable force we looked; yet one defeat does not spell disaster. QPR might be unbeaten but they tend to draw a lot, but which way will this one go?
Hedge your bets in the predictions league here.
Date:Tuesday November 9 2010
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