Pompey defender eyes happy anniversary

Ricardo Rocha

Ricardo Rocha

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Ricardo Rocha remembers the frustration.

The performances were invariably there but his team just weren’t getting their rewards.

But then came Friday, September 24, 2010: The date it all changed.

Leicester arrived at Fratton Park and it all clicked.

Steve Cotterill’s men delivered the win they had been threatening in emphatic style.

The Foxes were mauled 6-1 off the back of an irresistible attacking display that really got Pompey’s season firing.

That match marked the start of a 19-point haul from 21 as belief surged through the club from the stands to the dressing room.

Now Blackpool arrive a year on from the day of that game.

Rocha sees parallels between the two fixtures, with Pompey desperate to inject impetus into the current campaign.

He feels the togetherness that was in place 12 months ago turned things around then.

Rocha is certain it can be the same story now.

‘We had a bad result at Hull and it wasn’t a good game for us,’ said Rocha.

‘We had a tremendous performance at West Ham but lost unbelievably. We couldn’t reproduce that at Hull. It was one of the worst games we’ve had.

‘But we’re back home now in front of our fans and it’s a big game for us against Blackpool.

‘We’re coming from two bad results. We just need to win.

‘If you remember last season, it was almost the same.

‘We were playing well but the results weren’t coming.

‘We stuck together and that changed everything.

‘In the dressing room we spoke together and said we have to change things. We knew we were still together.

‘After the Leicester cup game, we said we had to do everything to change everything and we did when we played them next in the league.

‘We just need to do the same this season.

‘We’re doing the same now but need to get results.

‘We did that before and there is a similar situation now. We will change it.’

Pompey, of course, are in a much healthier position than they were a year ago.

But the disappointment was evident on all fronts after the poor display at Hull last weekend.

Rocha believes there is plenty to suggest Pompey will soon be on the up.

He said: ‘The game against Hull was not the best but it’s a long season.

‘We will have bad games but there is a lot of quality in our dressing room.

‘The manager knows what he wants. Some players are getting used to English football, the life in England and being at Portsmouth.

‘We can do it and we will do it. The fans are still there for us. We’ll do our best and give everything to change things.

‘We have a lot of experience – there are players with Premier League experience.

‘On top of that there are young players coming through.

‘We have everything needed to have success this season still.

‘We have the new owners supporting us and things are turning at the club.

‘The fans are for us and we have the quality to change things.’

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