Gaffer: Flattering scoreline but Portsmouth deserved to beat Scunthorpe

Gaffer for a Day, James Ayles, aged 27 from Clapham, examines Pompey’s 2-0 success over Scunthorpe...

Sunday, 17th March 2019, 11:06 am
Updated Sunday, 17th March 2019, 12:11 pm
Gaffer for a Day, James Ayles, made Omar Bogle his Pompey man of the match against Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

What are you views on that?

Well, the first half was one of the worst I've ever seen, the quality of the match was awful. Not a particularly inspiring game of football.

But we were the better term and deserved the win, even if a 2-0 scoreline did flatter us if anything.

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The playing conditions were terrible, while the opposition had absolutely no desire to leave the 18-yard box, they barely had an attempt on goal.

It was, though, a match we had to win if we are serious about going up, so that’s what matters.


Who stood out for you?

Omar Bogle did some very good things and very bad things, but we never really looked like scoring until he stepped up.

He chased a lot and made the difference in a game we had to win, so for that gets my vote as man of the match.

Bogle’s quick and powerful but also a bit limited – I would have doubts over him should we go up into the Championship.

We needed a bit of quality to overcome Scunthorpe, which Bogle and Jamal Lowe provided to see us through.


What do you make of Pompey’s holding midfield?

I certainly think the pairing of Ben Close and Tom Naylor are good enough at this level until the end of the season. We’ll see what happens after that.

Close may not be as good as Ben Thompson, but can adequately fill that hole.

If we ever went up a league, though, Naylor may struggle, I would be concerned about his ability on the ball in the Championship.

Defensively, I cannot see anybody better than him in his role, he has complete control in that area. It's just when challenged to move the ball forward that worries.


And what about automatic promotion?

This is obviously a volatile table, while we have rediscovered how to win, but not necessarily regained our form.

There is absolutely no reason why Pompey can’t get one of those two spots after coming through that wobble.

But where it’ll be decided is at Sunderland in the last away game of the season. Lose that and the chances are there won’t be automatic promotion.

At least in recent games we have given ourselves a fighting chance. The first XI is perfectly capable of getting us promotion.


Craig MacGillivray 7

Nathan Thompson 7

Christian Burgess 7

Matt Clarke 6

Lee Brown 7

Tom Naylor 7

Ben Close 8

Jamal Lowe 7

Brett Pitman 6

Viv Solomon-Otabor 6 (Gareth Evans 6)

Omar Bogle 7