Wilson’s Wisdom: Away day numbers must change

Matt Tubbs scored a hat-trick in the Blues' 6-2 win at Cambridge earlier this season    Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Tubbs scored a hat-trick in the Blues' 6-2 win at Cambridge earlier this season Picture: Joe Pepler
Curtis Main. Picture: Joe Pepler

Peterborough 2 Pompey 1

  • Just two wins all season for Pompey on the road
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Statistics can sometimes be manipulated.

On occasions, they can paint a picture that was never there.

But there are times when the answers are in black and white, smacking you in the face.

This was written before the result at Mansfield so the final tallies could change but there is a stark fact that’s impossible to escape: Pompey have been abysmal on the road in League Two this season.

Two wins, nine draws and 11 defeats before their final outing has been nowhere near good enough for a team aiming to make a play-off challenge.

Yes, there are some hard luck tales along the way.

That stoppage-time equaliser at Carlisle springs to mind, an impressive first-half display at Wycombe might have seen Pompey well ahead at the break and there was a fluke of a winner at Shrewsbury.

Decent showings at Hartlepool and York back in September and October should have been converted into wins.

Victories there might have been that spark and injection of confidence and belief.

But they clearly missed a big trick at Accrington when they failed to beat 10 men.

However, there are other games where it’s hard to argue that Pompey got what they deserved – nothing.

Burton, Southend, Plymouth, Bury, Tranmere, AFC Wimbledon and Morecambe are high on that list of nasties.

It all adds up to 15 points out of a possible 66.

So is there a clear reason for it?

Are there a collection of factors that added up to so much disappointment?

Or are we reading too much into it and Pompey were simply second best on those particular days?

Perhaps this is the most damning number of them all: from 22 games away from the home comforts of Fratton Park, the Blues have scored just 16 goals.

Take out the Cambridge freak show when they rattled in six, they would have just 10 – fewer than one goal every two games.

Unfair to pick and choose perhaps but in my old GCSE maths lessons, we always had to remove the anomalies to get accurate statistical data.

So if you are looking for trends, there are more to analyse.

In 12 games this season on their travels, Pompey have failed to find the net at all. In another eight, they scored once. Just twice they have scored more than one goal –at Carlisle (2-2) and the Cambridge 6-2 demolition.

It’s not a new problem for Pompey.

Most seasons, they have usually been pretty awful on the road – apart from the 2002-03 campaign when they blitzed everyone.

I realise at the higher levels of the game, an attacking mentality away from home can create its problems and leave teams open to the counter-attack.

But I’ve seen enough of League Two to suggest it doesn’t need to be complicated or defensive-minded.

That attitude might pave the way for some losses along the way but surely it’s also bound to bring home a few more wins?

Whatever it is, something needs to change.