Gaffer: New Portsmouth signing was catalyst

Gaffer for the day, Pompey fan Graham Berry, 34, from Waterlooville, gives his verdict after the 4-1 win against Oxford United at Fratton Park...

Sunday, 19th August 2018, 3:22 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th August 2018, 3:30 pm

You said before the game you were hoping your daughter who was a mascot would be a lucky charm?

It did prove to be the case, although I was worried at first!

She walked out with Gareth Evans and when he missed the penalty I wondered if she was going to be bad luck for him.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But when he scored the first goal she was really happy.

I've never seen us miss a penalty be so relaxed.

Pompey knew they were going to win the game and were dominant. The only thing is we seem to have a habit of switching off in the last 10 minutes and Oxford grabbed one back. 

 

How impressed were you by Pompey?

I said in my preview there was a debate whether Pompey playing longs balls was Kenny Jackett's tactics or a lack of personnel in midfield.

We got the answer on Saturday. The signing of Ben Thompson was the catalyst to completely change the way we play.

Tom Naylor could play 20 yards further forward and there wasn't a big gap between the midfield and strikers like previously.

 

Just how good was Ben Thompson on debut?

He was everything we have needed.

He broke up every single Oxford attack, was flying into tackles and is also very clever on the ball, allowing Naylor to go up a bit further.

In all the times I've been to Fratton Park, I don't ever recall the entire ground standing up and applauding when the sponsors' man of the match is announced.

It just shows what a debut it was from Thompson.

 

Who else stood out for the Blues?

Apart from his finishing, Oli Hawkins was excellent.

Maybe that's what Jackett meant when he said he wants more than goals from Brett Pitman.

Hawkins brought others into play and it was telling that, despite being 3-0 up, Pitman couldn't even get on the pitch.

If the captain wants to get back in the team then he's got to display that level of effort.