Gaffer: Pompey cruised to victory in first gear

Pompey fan Basher Benfield, aged 53, from Copnor, runs the rule over the Blues' defeat of Northampton.

Sunday, 3rd December 2017, 6:00 pm
Stuart O'Keefe, left, celebrates his goal with Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler

What are you thoughts on the game?

It was a very comfortable 2-0 win, but could easily have been 5-1 to us.

We never got out of first gear – if we’d have stepped it up it could have been five, six or seven in terms of goals.

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As good as Northampton were in the first half against us at their place, they were as bad in this game.

They were atrocious, absolutely appalling, clearly low on confidence and a lot worse of a team than Plymouth.

Who was your man of the match?

Danny Rose totally and utterly ran the midfield – he appeared as if he had plenty of time, kept the ball and spread it.

He is in form and against Northampton he bossed the game magnificently.

With hindsight, at times we missed his steadying influence when he was not in the team earlier this season, but he has taken his latest opportunity with both hands.

We always knew what he could do it, we saw it last season, but he is proving he can play at this level.

Rose looks a lot better than Stuart O’Keefe and is a definite first choice at present.

What do you make of Conor Chaplin in that number 10 role?

You cannot fault Conor’s work-rate and he is doing okay there, but he is not ready for that position yet – he is too inexperienced.

Towards the end of the game he appeared to swap with Curtis Main.

For Main it was one of those days when nothing went right, while Jamal Lowe was appalling at times.

I cannot remember Main winning a header and he missed a great chance in the second half which he could have walked in.

Lowe’s confidence has been hit and playing on the left wing is a bit pointless as he has no left foot whatsoever. He needs to work on that.

So into the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy then.

The 1,780 attendance was disappointing but it’s people’s choice.

Just don’t come crying about not getting tickets to Wembley if we get that far.

Maybe there will be bigger crowds the closer to the final we get, with people coming out of the woodwork.

Next week we head to Charlton, which is further away and the day will probably cost £100 including travel and everything.

Yet you can walk down the road and spend a £10 to watch us play in the Checkatrade Trophy and people won’t.

Where is the logic in that?

Basher’s ratings

Luke McGee 7

Nathan Thompson 7

Christian Burgess 8

Matt Clarke 8

Brandon Haunstrup 7

Danny Rose 9

Stuart O’Keefe 7

Gareth Evans 8

Conor Chaplin 7

Jamal Lowe 5

Curtis Main 5