Saturday’s defeat at Derby highlights the need for Pompey to intensify their search for a new manager.
It’s been over two weeks since Steve Cotterill left to go to Nottingham Forest, and while Guy Whittingham and Stuart Gray have done well since taking joint-caretaker charge – making Pompey more offensive-minded and playing more attractive football – neither of them wants the job on a full-time basis.
The players have responded well under their guidance, which normally happens when a manager leaves – whether they know it or not, players usually up their game knowing that a new manager is going to take charge soon.
But, on the reverse side, performances can sometimes start to fade whenever the search for a new man becomes protracted and there’s perhaps not as much consistency.
It can be argued that’s happening at Pompey now, with the uncertainty over who is going to take charge taking its toll.
As I said, Guy, Stuart and the players have all done well in the past couple of weeks, but the sooner a new manager arrives, the sooner issues can be addressed and the club can start building for the future again.
One issue that will certainly need to be addressed soon is Pompey’s worrying away form.
They’re without an away-day victory since March, and there’s a desperate need for them to start picking up points on the road.
It’s good that they’re picking up points regularly at home, but if they want to start moving away from the bottom end of the league table, they need to pick up some away points.
It will also help team confidence, which was hardly lacking, really, before the Derby defeat.
There’s no better feeling than sitting on the coach on the way home from an away victory knowing that you got a result, and that can help kick-start a run where you might pick up two or three wins on the bounce.
Some questioned whether the formation used at Pride Park on Saturday denied Pompey that opportunity to enjoy a rare away win.
Guy and Stuart stuck to the 4-4-2 formation that has served them well since Steve’s departure.
And, to me, I see no reason why they should have changed that for Derby.
For me, 4-4-2 is the most solid formation.
The midfield is more tight, while one of the two strikers can at times lie back slightly off the main forward and help out the midfield when necessary.
It’s a good system, whether you are at home or away, and it can’t be blamed for a bad day at the office at Pride Park.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I expect Pompey to use it again for the trip to Palace tomorrow night.