Former Portsmouth manager raises questions over Blues squad following laboured victory over non-league minnows

Former Pompey manager Guy Whittingham has admitted something’s wrong with the club at present following the Blues’ narrow victory against non-league Harrow Borough.

Sunday, 7th November 2021, 12:00 pm

Marcus Harness scored the only goal of the game as the club’s problems were laid bare on a forgettable afternoon in PO4.

And the former Fratton Park chief explained how he can’t quite put his finger on what’s wrong on the south coast, while questioning a number of those wearing royal blue.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Speaking on BBC Radio Solent at full-time, Whittingham said: ‘I don’t know (what the problem is), there didn’t seem to be any spark in any of the players. I don’t know why. Are there too many games at the moment? I don’t know what the atmosphere and environment is like, but I presume it should be good.

‘You’re professional footballers, they should be enjoying the time because they’re not all going through a bad time at the same time - so there should be some people enjoying what they do there.

‘But on the pitch, again it looked laboured, it seemed like the players weren’t quite sure when to move and when not to move or go for it. There doesn't seem to be one player in the squad or on that pitch that wants to grab somebody by the short and curlies and say “come on, get stuck in and move the ball quicker.”

‘There’s nobody demanding things but it’s not the first time we’ve said this either.

Former Pompey manager Guy Whittingham has admitted something’s wrong with the club at present following the Blues’ narrow victory against non-league Harrow Borough. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘You can’t pick and choose your games when you want to raise your enthusiasm I suppose for the game. It’s got to be brought to the fore and there’s just something happening, I’m not quite sure what it is, but the players just seem laboured.

‘You can hear the guys on the sideline (the Cowleys) imploring the players to lift the tempo and it’s just not happening.

‘From that point of view there doesn’t seem to be anybody who wants to get everyone else going and set the tempo. If it’s not happening somebody’s got to do something about it. Whether that’s Curtis getting on the ball and sparking into life.

‘Romeo first half down the right-hand-side put some good crosses in but no ones on the end of it and if Marcus misses he just gets the cross back. He’s just worked his socks off all first half to put in six good crosses, sprinting up and down that far side and people aren’t bothered to get to his crosses.

‘If you’re crossing near post then you need to verbally tell those players “actually I’m getting fed up with you guys, any chance of you getting on the end of it?”. There doesn’t seem to be that.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 14p a day.