On this day in 2013, David Connolly decided the time had come to issue a few home truths and told Pompey’s youngsters: Don’t ignore experience.
The ex-Republic of Ireland international believed some of the younger players breaking through at Fratton Park could not handle criticism and were prepared to shrug off failure too readily.
Connolly netted his first Pompey goal in the 1-1 draw with MK Dons days before his outburst.
But he reckoned some of the Blues’ promising young talents simply did not want advice from a player who had enjoyed a 19-year career, played Premier league football and earned 41 international caps.
At the time Connolly said: ‘I want to help – if they want to be helped.
‘Sometimes I’ve spoken to young players and they won’t have it.
‘So I don’t know – you can only help people if they want to be helped.
‘We’ll see. if they want to be helped, I’ll help them.
‘Maybe their mum and dad tell them they are fantastic and they listen to that.
‘For me, they are not hard enough on themselves.
‘Lads shoot from 40 yards, miss the target, and then say “oh well”.
‘I don’t think that’s good enough.
‘That’s my view. Maybe they haven’t had much criticism in their lives.’
Connolly played alongside characters like Roy Keane for the irish.
He was then signed up by the former Manchester United skipper when he was manager of Sunderland.
But while Keane was notorious for his straight-talking and dishing out of fierce criticism to fellow players, Connolly believed some at Fratton Park simply could not take a dressing down.
He added: ‘All the teams I’ve been in have had it, whether they’ve been world class or average players.
‘If someone makes a mistake or needs telling off, I think they should be told.
‘But you say a few things here and the lads are a bit reticent to take criticism.
‘They are young players. At my age, if I have criticism, it’s water off a duck’s back.
‘Really, it’s deeds that show it: your work-rate, how you train and how you play.
‘That’s how you set the standards.'