Gaffer: Playing like that will earn Portsmouth the title

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Pompey fan Jon Hayward, aged 44, from Wishaw, Scotland, delivers his verdict on Saturday’s 3-1 win at Rochdale...    

So trips to Spotland can be pleasurable sometimes?

Gaffer for a day Jon Hayward is impressed by a Pompey side which reclaimed top spot on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gaffer for a day Jon Hayward is impressed by a Pompey side which reclaimed top spot on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

If we play like that then we’ll be champions. I could not fault it, I cannot be critical of anyone.

I wasn’t at Richie Barker’s last game, although I’ve heard all about it!

Saturday was a fantastic day, a fantastic game, a great result and Peterborough drawing at home to Blackpool means we are top of the league again.

To top it off, I had some very tasty chips from the chippy across the road from the ground!

There were 15 of us from Clan Pompey. That’s actually a low turnout, there will be at least 30 for the trip to Accrington in a few weeks, so another one to look forward to.

What did you think of the performance?

I was proud of how the team played football in what was the perfect formation.

When Aaron Wilbraham scored so early, I wasn’t concerned about going behind. Instead we got our heads down, passed the ball and looked composed.

There was no denying it was a brilliant goal from the Dale striker, there was nothing anyone could have done about that, it was the perfect goal.

But we got on with it really quickly and looked like the good side we are.

Who stood out for you?

Matt Clarke was absolutely solid at the back as usual and worked really well with Jack Whatmough.

Normally defenders don’t get enough credit and it was so hard to separate him from Brett Pitman, but that goal to finish it off was an absolute screamer.

It Clarke hadn’t scored the way he did, my man of the match was definitely Pitman.

I thought we were fantastic at the back throughout. Clarke paired with Whatmough are always a solid, fantastic pairing.


And what did you make of Pitman on his return to the starting XI?

I had called on him to come back into the side for this game and he is worthy of a permanent place in the team. He was brilliant on Saturday.

Watching him, he was actually getting held back an awful lot. Rochdale were on him all the time, it was extremely physical.

But he managed to find enough space to set up Jamal Lowe and then score our second with a cheeky little flick.

He proved himself. If he keeps scoring and keeps getting assists then there is no way you can leave out a player showing that consistency.

Jon’s Pompey ratings...

Craig MacGillivray – 7

Nathan Thompson – 7

Jack Whatmough – 8

Matt Clarke – 9

Lee Brown – 6

Tom Naylor – 7

Ben Close – 6

Jamal Lowe – 8

Gareth Evans – 8

Ronan Curtis – 6

Brett Pitman – 8

Have you read?

Neil Allen’s verdict on Pompey’s win at Rochdale

Rochdale 1 Pompey 3 – they said what?