Gaffer for a day Sam Manton, aged 27, from Aurskog, Norway, gives his thoughts on Pompey’s 2-1 victory at AFC Wimbledon…
Well that got rather nervy didn’t it?
We were absolutely fantastic in the first half, couldn’t have asked for anything better, but when Wimbledon scored their goal it was a case of batten down the hatches.
It’s never easy for Pompey, James Hanson’s goal completely changed the game.
We could have been 5-0 up at half-time, we had so many chances. The game should have been dead and buried.
If that’s against the likes of Barnsley or Sunderland we need to bury them in the first half.
It was a bad mistake by Gareth Evans to let them back in, even though Hanson struck the ball well.
But we defended well.
You mentioned the defence, resilient bunch aren’t they?
We have added to the defence from last year and been consistently really solid, mainly thanks to Matt Clarke.
Defensively we are set up around him. He is definitely the minimum of a Championship defender, I pray we can keep him in January.
I love how he brings it out of defence and doesn’t hoof it. He plays it out properly and we create chances off the back of that.
What did you make of the team selection?
Kenny Jackett’s selection was a bit of a shock, but Dion Donohue coming in was a very good move.
Having a natural left footer on that side gave us something different and he put some fantastic balls into the box.
Dropping Brett Pitman for Hawkins was a big one – and another which worked. He really battled up there, never giving up, and brings people into play better this season.
So who was your man of the match?
Tom Naylor was so strong, picking everything up in the first half and driving forward.
He does such a good job in front of the defence – and it was nice to see him on the scoresheet.
Saturday was the best I have seen him play, he’s clearly a Championship midfielder and we are very lucky to have him.
In the Claude Makelele role, he can do a job all day.
Sam’s Pompey ratings…
Craig MacGillivray – 8
Nathan Thompson – 7
Jack Whatmough – 8
Matt Clarke – 8
Lee Brown – 7
Tom Naylor – 9
Ben Thompson – 8
Gareth Evans – 7
Dion Donohue – 8
Jamal Lowe – 7
Oli Hawkins – 8
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