Gaffer: I feared the worst at Lincoln, but he proved us Portsmouth fans wrong. In Danny Cowley we trust

Gaffer for a Day, Paul Mellon, aged 49 from Hilsea, delivers his verdict on Pompey's 3-0 win at Lincoln...

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 1:49 pm

What are your thoughts on that, Paul?

That was our best performance of the season, we totally controlled the match and bossed the game.

It was actually the first fixture this season that I wasn’t worried when the opposition were attacking.

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It was a clean sheet and three goals, while Lincoln only managed two shots on target. I was expecting a lot more from them, if anything.

I’ve been a Pompey far too long to get over-optimistic, but suddenly it looks like we have an outstanding chance of the play-offs.

What did you think of the playing system?

I must admit, I did fear the worst when I found out we were lining up with a back three after what happened against Ipswich the last time it was used.

Danny Cowley registered a fifth straight win after Pompey's 3-0 success at Lincoln on Tuesday night. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Personally, before the game, I would have gone with four at the back, with Shaun Williams partnering Sean Raggett and Connor Ogilvie moving to left-back.

Still, in Danny we trust – and he has proven us all wrong.

If you have the players, then you can play any formation. We already knew Mahlon Romeo can play as a wing-back and Reeco Hackett did well on the left after receiving a recall.

Who was your man of the match?

Romeo has been outstanding since his arrival, giving us extra width and putting crosses in.

Against Lincoln, most of Pompey’s attacks came down his right-hand side, while he is not afraid to take people on.

Romeo was so unlucky to hit the post in the second half, on another day that shot would have bounced in for his first Pompey goal.

At Pompey, we tend to do really well when the wingers are performing. When full-backs also dovetail with them then it brings out our best. We are seeking that with Romeo.

George Hirst scored his maiden Football League goal. Has he won you over yet?

If I’m honest, I would have sent him back to Leicester in January – but I’m really liking this new George Hirst!

When he picks the ball up now, there seems to be a yard of pace I didn’t think he had. A couple of times he used it to move away from the centre-half.

It shows how important confidence is for any striker, even John Marquis.

Physically, Hirst has all the attributes to be an effective centre forward. He is strong in the air, deceptively quick, and I hate to think where we’d be if he hadn’t come into that form.

We still need another centre-half and striker in January, though. Are we ever going to get a proper tune out of Marquis?

We have not played to his strengths and I can’t see him getting his contract renewed.

Gavin Bazunu – 7

Kieron Freeman – 8

Sean Raggett – 7

Connor Ogilvie – 7

Mahlon Romeo – 9

Reeco Hackett – 7

Shaun Williams – 8

Joe Morrell – 7

Marcus Harness – 8

George Hirst – 8

Ronan Curtis – 8

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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