Knight: New Pompey system needs time and patience

Jamal Lowe had two good chance for Pompey against Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe had two good chance for Pompey against Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jez Bedford

Pompey recall midfielder Bedford

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Pompey remain a work in progress and I certainly hope the manager doesn’t completely throw the 3-5-2 system out of the window.

Despite losing to Rotherham, I believe it is a formation which can still be used.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work on this occasion, as we slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat, but I believe that was more to do with the personnel.

You need the right people in there for that system to operate effectively – and I’m afraid that wasn’t the case in the televised clash.

In terms of the centre-halves, we have the players able to play in a 3-5-2, that is not the issue. Wing-back wise it didn’t suit, though.

With Gareth Evans suspended, Jamal Lowe was asked to feature as right wing-back, while Brandon Haunstrup was on the left but, unfortunately, it didn’t work for either.

Certainly, it was tough on Conor Chaplin and Jack Whatmough having to go off at half-time to accommodate the subsequent change in formation, which inevitably was a 4-4-2.

With four new players also at the club, this week Kenny Jackett will be working on things on the training ground to make them gel.

The manager clearly still yet to decide his best line-up.

What we can all agree, though, is how disappointing it was losing to a Rotherham side without an away win since April 2016 and seeing Richie Barker celebrating afterwards.

There were positives in the 1-0 loss, however, and I thought substitute Matty Kennedy looked dangerous when he came on for his debut.

He took players on, put the ball into the box, and on another day Lowe may have had a hat-trick.

We didn’t really work their keeper, but probably had the better chances.

Stuart O’Keefe started the game and I felt was a bit overrun in midfield, especially in the first half, through no fault of his own.

It would be too harsh for anyone to draw any assumptions of the Cardiff loanee from that one game – he has a lot to give this club.

Nathan Thompson came off the bench for his Blues bow and made us more solid down the right-hand side, while allowing Lowe to push further forward.

As for Oliver Hawkins, who like O’Keefe started the game, he did okay.

Hawkins lacked service at times but he showed glimpses, including a second-half header cleared off the line.

Unfortunately, once the Millers scored, they dictated the pace of the game and it became very bitty.

Maybe we used up all our luck at Wigan!