Date:Saturday August 25 2012
Pompey make the long old trek to Carlisle today looking to keep up our unbeaten record, and hopefully get our first win after two draw. At least this time it is a weekend game though and not midweek like our last meeting a couple of years back!
We started well last weekend against Bournemouth, we looked even better against Colchester in midweek so if we can again show yet more improvement I am sure we can win today.
3 games in 7-days is a big ask, especially with a small squad, although my feeling is that this has actually benefited us as this is like our pre-season and the players are benefiting with fitness improving and that team cohesion growing - a week-long rest after this before our next game will not be unwelcome though!
Carlisle are short of some attacking options, Rory Loy and Paddy Madden are unavailable along with their main goal threat Lee Miller. They lost Francois Zoko over the summer when he opted to move on.
Jake Jervis was signed on loan from Birmingham in the week though so he adds a little more firepower.
He has never really been prolific during his career but he has the experience, and higher league ability, to cause us problems.
There aren't likely to be any 'surprise additions' today to the squad, which we have seen in our opening games with late loan arrivals making the squad.
The only expected absentee is Lee Williamson, the former Sheffield United man has a hamstring problem that forced him off after around 30-minutes in midweek. With him out Jordan Obita may come in for a debut with Liam Walker keeping a central role?
His influence in the middle of the park is growing with each game played, if this continues today I reckon we might even see him score his first Pompey goal!
Today will be the first league meeting between the sides since an old second division game just before Christmas in 1985, this was also an away game that Pompey won 1-0.
The only meeting in the 25-years plus since was the league cup meeting in 2009/10, a game Pompey eventually won 3-1 having slipped behind early on to an Ian Harte penalty - the veteran Irishman is now back in the topflight with Reading.
Overall there have been 33 previous meetings with Carlisle and Pompey are 14-12 up, the other 7 were draws. Away from Fratton Carlisle lead 9-3 with 5 draws.
Carlisle are a tough proposition, especially at Brunton Park. For them to have lost at home 3-0 in midweek to Tranmere must have seen Tranmere particularly good or Carlisle particularly bad, maybe a combination of each?
I do not think we should expect a Pompey win but if we continue our improvement I reckon we can, and should we manage to keep this side together - and fit - we will have a very good season. Some of the football in midweek was Brazil like!
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Date:Saturday August 25 2012
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