We are of course a country mile and more away from a crisis. But it’s true to say that Pompey could very much do with a win at home to Reading tonight.
A promising start to the new Championship campaign – namely the 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough ten days ago – has been followed by two disappointing 1-0 defeats at Fratton, the first a Carling Cup exit at the hands of underdogs Barnet and the second a league setback against south coast rivals Brighton.
Inevitably, the stuttering start has led many fans to look at the size of Pompey’s squad – or, more precisely, the lack of it. At present just about every player needs to be available for selection in order that manager Steve Cotterill is able to name a team and a full bench of substitutes.
That, of course, cannot be sustainable. Players pick up knocks and more serious injuries, some are called away for international duties and the number of yellow cards picked up already this term reminds us that inevitably some of Fratton’s stars will be forced to miss matches because of suspension at some point.
So tonight, the massed ranks of fans at Fratton Park will be looking not only towards the pitch in the hope of seeing their favourites chalk up a much-needed win, but also towards the directors’ box and the club’s new owners.
Supporters, whose passions and dedication was cited by the new regime as a major reason for investing in the club, will want to see Cotterill given more resources with which to fight a good campaign.
Granted, players have arrived over the summer, but not so many as have gone through the exit door at Fratton Park.
Many supporters believe that there is a lot of quality in the squad for this season, but undoubtedly there is a strong feeling among supporters that quantity remains an issue.
We hope that will be addressed without delay, that Pompey will enjoy a healthy victory tonight, and that the season ahead will prove to be rich not only in promise but in reward.
Play up Pompey!