Teenage Kicks: Can Doyle help rid us of ‘Fragile’ Fratton

Eoin Doyle. Picture: Colin Farmery
Eoin Doyle. Picture: Colin Farmery
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Paul Cook and the Pompey players must face up to the fact our season is dangerously close to capitulating.

Unfortunately, it feels more like Fragile Fratton instead of Fortress Fratton at the moment.

From minute one against Exeter, the crowd felt nervous and likewise the players.

It’s a sorry position to be in when you’re chasing promotion.

Cook needs to be careful before suggesting the fans dictate team selection, which is what he implied in a post-match interview.

He is paid to stick to his judgement, not to be dictated to by the diverse opinions of the fan base.

That was a worrying display of weakness from an otherwise strong character.

Cook, if you deem 4-2-3-1 to be the best formation for this squad, then play that.

Despite this, he is right, in my opinion, to point out the weaknesses in playing 4-4-2.

Now Pompey have secured the services of Eoin Doyle, Cook may be tempted to revert back to his preferred formation.

With Carl Baker, Gary Roberts and Kyle Bennett playing in the three behind the striker.

I was heartened by the Fratton End’s attempt to lift the players during the second half against Exeter with a chorus of ‘Blue Army’.

Just typical that as soon as the decibels increase, Pompey concede!

However, I hope fellow Blues fans understand that making some noise can help the players.

We all want the same thing, let’s start working towards it together.

But the Blues need to perform better on home turg than they did against the Grecians – a display that has been produced on an alarming number of occasions this season.

It isn’t a case of Pompey not competing in front of their own fans but instead seeming to run out of tempo and ideas.

As a unit, we need to pose more of a threat at Fratton Park.

For me, the pace of the game was dictated by the visitors.

Pompey need to get on the front foot, I want to see us put the opposing defence under pressure by running at them and putting balls into the box.

That is why Jamal Lowe got a thunderous round of applause soon after he came on because he played with urgency and ran at the Exeter defence.

But overall the display was flat, we all know a few more of those at Fratton Park and it’s another year of the play-offs.

I hope the signing of Doyle can revitalise Cook and Pompey. He can be the man to fire us into third.

Let’s keep the faith because losing it will only mean one thing – another year in League Two.

• Ben Sturt, 17, is a Pompey fan and Fratton end season-ticket holder. He writes a column from the perspective of a younger supporter in the Sports Mail every Sunday.