Gaffer for a Day, Steve Tovey, aged 60 from Fareham, delivers his verdict on Pompey’s 1-1 draw at Barnsley...
Warmed up yet Steve?
I have been following Pompey home and away since 1968 – and Saturday was the third coldest I have been at a match.
I was actually pre-warned about this one, so didn’t wear my usual shorts and T-shirt, instead putting on a jumper and trousers, which helped.
Although it’s not often when you hear fans singing about how cold they are!
The worst was January 2010 in an FA Cup replay at Coventry, it was so cold the police wore scarves around their faces, but we won 2-1 in extra-time.
Then there was the 1-0 defeat at Birmingham in February 2012, a midweek game when the coach got iced up as it waited for us, which is very rare.
Was the draw a fair outcome?
I wanted a point beforehand and was happy with a point, but was still disappointed when Anton Walkes came on instead of Andre Green for Ronan Curtis.
As an away fan, you always want to win a game and by the 75th-minute we had clearly decided to see it out.
Having said that, Barnsley were better than us, but at the end of the day we deserved a point in horrible conditions.
Craig MacGillivray had those three saves in the first half, while Oli Hawkins had a chance after the break but panicked and shot too early rather than chipping the keeper, so there weren’t that many opportunities.
Which player stood out for you?
Nathan Thompson was outstanding, he won every challenge and looked to go forward whenever he had the ball.
He didn’t put a foot wrong and – in the last few minutes – did that theatrical Only Fools & Horses act when someone breathes on him and he falls over and wins a free-kick!
You can never say he doesn’t put it in. He has a rush of blood sometimes when tackling, but has gone from strength-to-strength this season, enjoying playing regularly in his natural position.
Thompson can easily step up into the Championship, but I’m not so certain about Lee Brown, I think he’ll get found out speed-wise.
From a Championship point of view, we only need to look at the left-back position in terms of the defence should we manage to go up.
And next up is the visit of Sunderland.
I would take a point from that match, it’s important not to lose it.
It was crucial not to lose against Barnsley, we didn’t want to face Sunderland on the back of successive defeats.
As it is, Pompey’s psychology is back to normal following Charlton and they will have confidence approaching Saturday.
If we can win, fantastic, but I would be happy with a point to consolidate us at the top. We don’t want to lose and help Sunderland close the gap.
Craig MacGillivray 8
Nathan Thompson 9
Jack Whatmough 8
Matt Clarke 8
Lee Brown 7
Tom Naylor 7
Ben Thompson 7
Jamal Lowe 7
Gareth Evans 7
Ronan Curtis 5
Oli Hawkins 6