Gaffer: Great Portsmouth spirit - but you can't ignore lots of cracks which need to be sorted

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Sunday, 27th February 2022, 4:30 pm
Gaffer For A Day Will Hahn named Joe Morrell as his man of the match against Fleetwood. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Gaffer For A Day Will Hahn named Joe Morrell as his man of the match against Fleetwood. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

How did Pompey perform?

It was the proverbial game of two halves. In the first half, Fleetwood were more up for the fight than we were and had the momentum through two early goals.

But we then showed that spirit from Oxford. In the second half we got the ball moving, were clever with it, moved it around, exploited space, and I can’t knock them for that.

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We got the point, but sometimes you have to stick with what you know best. Having said that, you cannot criticise the effort, endeavour and guile in the end.

Despite coming back to get a point, though, there remain lots of cracks which need to be sorted.

How did you view the system change?

It took me 10 minutes to realise it, to be honest! As the game went on, I noticed we were playing a flat back four rather than wing-backs.

When Fleetwood got their second goal, Denver Hume was left isolated because we’re used to having another player around there. The amount of space Ellis Harrison had for the first goal was criminal too.

I was surprised Danny Cowley changed it, the wing-back system had started to work, so I don’t get why he dropped it. It’s a bit puzzling for me.

I have always liked wing-back system, Harry Redknapp played it when we won promotion in 2002-03, it can be very attack-minded.

Then suddenly we scrap it against Fleetwood when our players have got used to it.

Who was your man of the match?

It was Joe Morrell all-day long. Ronan Curtis was superb in the second half, but Morrell showed consistency throughout, whereas everyone else had to up their game.

He has proven to be the signing of the season for us, such an important player. He’s energetic, looks forward, and has to be in the side whenever available.

Shaun Williams gets the ball and wants to play it square or back, whereas Morell looks to get the ball forward. Even if he can’t do it, that’s the first thing on his mind.

I liked that petulant angry Curtis that we saw, he was brilliant in the second half. When he’s that angry teenager, that’s when he plays at his best.

You appear to have given Tyler Walker a low mark.

I never want to be negative about a Pompey player, but I was surprised he stayed on the pitch for the entire match.

Aiden O’Brien came off the bench and changed the team, adding dynamism, while he scored the equaliser. He works so hard for the team and brings goals.

I don’t recall Walker having a sniff of goal, so it is really hard to judge whether he can actually score.

He’s a younger version of John Marquis and I would start O’Brien ahead of him. He has to replace him against Oxford United on Tuesday night.

Gavin Bazunu – 6

Hayden Carter – 7

Sean Raggett – 7

Clark Robertson – 7

Denver Hume – 5

Joe Morrell – 8

Ryan Tunnicliffe – 7

Marcus Harness – 6

Reeco Hackett – 6

Ronan Curtis – 7

Tyler Walker – 4

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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