Teenage Kicks: Willingness to gamble could be key for Pompey

Pompey boss Paul Cook, left. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Paul Cook, left. Picture: Joe Pepler

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There has rightly been concern at the amount of games Pompey have lost this season.

But it is essential we highlight the amount of games we have won and the amount of goals we have scored.

For me, this is a more telling indicator of how our season will pan out.

Cast your mind back to last season, around a year ago we were going into a run where we couldn’t turn draws into wins.

We were the draw specialists.

The fact we have lost more and won more games at the same stage this season may indicate a change in approach from Cook, one he has certainly touched on in interviews.

As the manager has said in the past, it’s about finding a balance.

But a potent attacking style adopted by any team may leave gaps at the back.

A season is full of ups and downs but what is important for us is to remain around the top three throughout.

As we saw last year, what differentiates the runners and riders come the business end of the season is who can put together a consistent string of wins.

Northampton Town and Oxford United did just that and they went up.

It would be fair to say not many of us had complete confidence in the Blues to win game after game last term.

That was mainly down to the fact there were several chances to get a third win on the trot and we passed up those opportunities until the latter stages.

My mind is cast back to a home game versus Newport County – it was a glaring chance to get a third win in a row.

We capitulated and lost 3-0. It was at that point the play-offs seemed inevitable.

It’s early days of course but there is evidence Pompey can sustain a successive run of wins when it really matters.

Firstly, we are scoring goals quite freely and are not finding it as difficult to break down stubborn defences.

Secondly, we have put together four wins on the trot already.

Hopefully this can act as a relief for the coaching staff, players and fans, that this has been achieved.

Thirdly, it seems Pompey have developed a bounce-back-ability.

For example, after the losses to Blackpool and Doncaster, instead of falling into a concerning lull in form, the Blues put in a professional shift to overcome Leyton Orient.

This indicates the players are strong at transferring work on the training ground to results on the pitch.

It is essential as a fanbase we do not panic when we lose a game.

The players have set a precedent. Winning games must be the focus, not to avoid defeat.

Ben Sturt is 17 years old and has been a season-ticket holder in the Fratton End for more than a decade.

He writes a weekly column in the Sports Mail where he discusses the key talking points at Pompey – from the perspective of a younger supporter.

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