Mansfield 1 Pompey 1: Gaffer for a day verdict

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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Olly Birch, 25, from Brighton, gives his verdict on Pompey’s draw at Mansfield...

What were your thoughts on that?

It was a poor game.

Up until the penalty we looked like we could go on and win.

But the penalty save seemed to take the stuffing out of the players.

We were well on top before that and then of course they went up the other end and scored pretty much straight after.

Any blame on Marc McNulty for failing to score from the spot?

No, the keeper made an amazing save, McNulty struck it hard and low into the bottom corner.

It was a brilliant save with no blame on that – the blame is from what happened after that.

It seemed the players lost focus.

Pompey were gifted a way back into the game with the own goal on the stroke of half-time. Did you think they would then go on and win it?

I thought we would go on and win but Mansfield kept going.

They were up for it all match and much more physical than us.

We need a bit more steel I think, there is no-one except from Doyle to put a foot on the ball, we seem to run out of ideas.

We pass it side to side and across the defence but nobody really knows what to do it seems.

Is Paul Cook still the right man for the job?

Paul Cook is definitely the man for the job.

It is just unfortunate he has come in after a couple of wasted seasons and managers who probably were not good enough.

If this was our first season in League Two most fans would be thinking this is fair enough.

He has had to rebuild the squad completely – but everyone wants desperately to get out of this league.

What about automatic promotion, is that still possible?

Looking at the fixtures I think we still have a shot at automatic promotion.

With Hartlepool and Northampton as our last two games we will face two teams with nothing to play for – the Pools safe from relegation and Northampton champions.

We just haven’t put a run together but you have got to keep believing we can do that.

Plymouth have started to bottle it already so we just need to be in the mix to keep asking questions.

It looks like Bristol Rovers are the team to catch for third spot.