Gaffer: Portsmouth promotion ours to lose from here

Gaffer for a Day, Rob Cusack, aged 22 from Fareham, reflects on Pompey's stunning 3-1 win over Sunderland...

Sunday, 23rd December 2018, 11:08 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:45 am
Gaffer for a Day Rob Cusack picked Oli Hawkins as his man of the match. Picture: Joe Pepler


What a result!

It was a real statement. Sunderland are slowly creeping up the table, having lost just once in the league, and then we blew them away.

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Gaffer for a Day Rob Cusack picked Oli Hawkins as his man of the match. Picture: Joe Pepler

Beforehand I said we needed to go for the jugular and it panned out that way, really going for it against 10 men.

Being at De Montfort University, I don't see Pompey every week, but Saturday was the best I have seen them play all season '“ for a couple of years in fact.

It was a weird one, goalless at half-time and then 18 minutes into the second half it was 3-1 and we were well on top.

I was drained!


So where does it leave Pompey's season?

It was a massive, massive result and puts us eight points clear of Sunderland.

If anyone had suggested we would have 51 points by Christmas I would have thought that ridiculous!

It's Pompey's to lose now. Everyone is gunning for us, but I have seen our team win in enough ways this season to know we can adapt to a situation.

Going forward, I do think at very least we'll finish in the top three or four, even if we massively crashed from here.

Jackett knows what he's doing, that's how good he is.


A few challengers for man of the match there.

Yes, everyone played well, there is an argument that most players could be awarded the man of the match.

Jack Whatmough, Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins were fantastic in different ways, but I'm gong to Hawkins.

Whatmough kept everything out in the first half, while Curtis really, really annoyed their right-back and is great at what he does.

Hawkins, though, won everything in the air, even when challenged by four players on occasions, and was involved in all three of Pompey's goals.

He's an underrated player, getting criticism when not warranted, some do not understand his important role in this team.

I was gutted when he missed that second-half header, he has probably been one of Pompey's best players this season in my view.

What did you make of the atmosphere?

It was our biggest attendance for seven years, we haven't had as many at Fratton Park since Southampton in December 2011.

I was there and still sit in the same seat! It doesn't seem that long ago, which I know is a typical thing to say, but it does't.

Saturday was a fantastic atmosphere, with both sets of fans up for it, the place was rocking.

It's great to see the away end full, we don't get it very often, and the Sunderland fans helped to liven it up.

Tony Adams was not the most popular manager here, but had that AC Milan atmosphere. Often it's the situation '“ and Sunderland was a massive match.


Craig MacGillivray 8

Nathan Thompson 8

Jack Whatmough 9

Matt Clarke 8

Lee Brown 8

Tom Naylor 8

Ben Thompson 8

Jamal Lowe 8

Gareth Evans 8

Ronan Curtis 9

Oli Hawkins 9