Gaffer For A Day: Steve Ayling

Gary Roberts celebrates one of his goals. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts celebrates one of his goals. Picture: Joe Pepler
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis limps off injured against Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler

Injured Holmes-Dennis pays tribute to Pompey

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Steve Ayling gives his thoughts on the thrilling 3-3 draw with Morecambe.

So the Gaffer for a Day met the real Pompey gaffer after the game?

Yes, Paul Cook came into the Chimes following the draw and we had a chat.

He’s always upbeat, you don’t get any rubbish with him.

He had read in the paper that I was the Gaffer for that match.

I’d better be careful what I say if he’s reading this then!

What are your thoughts on the game then?

Although disappointed with the overall result, considering the position we were in at 4.50pm I am ecstatic with a point and the unbeaten run goes on.

The first half was a bad day at the office and may be a little wake-up call that if you don’t concentrate and respect teams this is what happens.

People are going to raise their game at Fratton, they always do. I am not going to start panicking, this is a hell of a lot better than last year when the team would have been booed off at half-time.

From 3-0 down and having a bad day to taking a point – I’m satisfied with that.

You mentioned the first half, what was the problem?

First of all let’s give Morecambe credit, I thought they were fantastic in the first half.

They worked and worked and worked and were a yard sharper than us all over the park during that period, we could well have been four or five down at half-time and out of reach.

With their first goal the bloke will never score one like that again in his life, while the others were schoolboy defending such as free headers from corners.

Which players stood out?

Without a doubt Gary Roberts was man of the match, with Michael Doyle not too far behind.

I love Roberts’ enthusiasm, his ball control, how he is full of tricks, his energy levels and the fact he can score goals.

He was the last one off the pitch at the end and looked absolutely exhausted, they had to get fluids back into him. He gave it everything.

Roberts came in for the man-of-the-match presentation afterwards and said the result was not the standard we should accept here, we have to be winning our home games.

Still enjoying the playing style?

We have become used to watching a side which knocks the ball around and when that didn’t work particularly well on Saturday there were people groaning.

I heard moans about how we were knocking it backwards and sideways but it’s better than giving the ball away.

Some were saying it was like watching Arsenal in League Two, playing tippy tappy with no end product – but I really like possession football.