Knight: Awful day for Pompey on and off pitch

Sometimes you have to take it as a bad day at the office '“ and that definitely was the case on Saturday.

Monday, 2nd October 2017, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 3:27 pm
Pompey defender Drew Talbot Picture: Joe Pepler

And I’m talking about off the pitch as well as on it.

As poor as we were in that first half against Oldham, I still felt we had a chance at half-time with the scoreline still 1-0.

Then that changed two minutes in with Eoin Doyle’s second.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I know the manager said we were better after the interval, but there is a debate whether we actually were or instead it was a case of the visitors taking their foot off the pedal.

Kyle Bennett had an early chance after coming on as a substitute, and if that had gone in who knows what would have happened. It may have been a different game, papering over the cracks of that first-half performance.

I have to say, though, that the curse of the centre-halves did knock us out of our stride, prompting a reshuffle.

Oli Hawkins didn’t do too badly as a makeshift central defender in the second half, it was just unfortunate about Drew Talbot’s mistake for the second goal.

I felt for the former Chesterfield man, we all have those games occasionally where everything that can go wrong does.

Fans always remember the backpass against Wimbledon and other mistakes that happen rather than the good things you do, that’s how it works.

However, I cannot condone the booing of a Pompey player. Nobody attempts to make mistakes and I am sure Drew will dust himself down and bounce back like the pro he is.

Hearing that reaction from your own supporters is never nice and he still has a role to play for this football club, particularly during a time of so many defensive injuries.

Talbot could well face Crawley tonight, perhaps even at centre-half, although Matt Clarke is a player I would be looking to protect.

I would take him out of the team so he will be okay for Gillingham. Wrap him up in cotton wool until some of his colleagues return from injury. We cannot afford to lose him as well.

It may also be the case that one or two others may have to try a different position.

Still, forget about Oldham, leave it behind, it’s all about the next game now – Crawley in the Checkatrade Trophy.

I know Gillingham on Sunday is the match to really focus on, but tonight is the opportunity to have a look at a few others to see what they can offer.

There will be places up for grabs further down the line, so it will be interesting to see whether those called into the Checkatrade Trophy side can stake a claim.

Particularly in the centre of defence.