Gaffer: Michael Eisner finally talking and Portsmouth players showing grit. It's about time

Gaffer For A Day, Luke Atiyah, aged 31 from Bishop’s Waltham, assesses Pompey’s 2-2 draw against Accrington...

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 5:30 pm
Pompey Gaffer For A Day Luke Atiyah has chosen Joe Morrell has his man of the match against Accrington. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Heartened by that display against Accrington?

To be fair, we played a lot better than Tuesday and it’s a step in the right direction.

We needed a few things to happen this week. One was Michael Eisner coming out and speaking like that and the other was a performance like Accrington.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

We showed grit, determination and more attacking intent. Their heads didn’t drop at 2-1 down and it wasn’t the display of footballers not playing for the manager or shirt.

We had twice as many chances as Accrington and ultimately that stopped us from winning.

There’s still a long way to go and clearly we have defensive frailties and will probably finish the season as a mid-table team.

However, Saturday was a positive step.

You mentioned not taking chances, why do you think that was?

John Marquis isn't firing on all cylinders by any stretch, but I thought he did quite well on Saturday and was responsible for setting up the equaliser.

Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness have goals in them, but we don’t have anyone guaranteed to get 20-25 goals.

At one point in the first half, Marquis was clean through and instead of shooting tried to square it. As a striker who scored plenty of times for Doncaster, you have to bury that.

Having said that, Accrington was the best I have seen the front four perform for a long time.

The likes of Reeco Hackett produced his best performance in a Pompey shirt and hopefully something soon can click for Marquis.

You mentioned Michael Eisner’s video message to the fans this week.

I would hope somebody got in his ear and told him to do a bit of public relations, so it was good to hear.

The problem is, we were 17th heading into the weekend with a number of failed play-off campaigns in four seasons at League One. That’s not good enough.

It’s not that Eisner needs to defend himself, but he has to come out to remind fans what is happening behind closed doors.

My memory’s not short enough to want him gone, I realise how much worse it can be under new owners. I just want to hear from him more.

I know Eisner has stated that he’s used to working at organisations where the owners are behind the scenes, but Tornante have been here four years now and things aren’t going brilliantly.

This was a good time to step forward and, after listening, I felt better than when I left Fratton Park on Tuesday night.

Who was your man of the match?

Curtis looked up for it from the minute dot, but I’m going for Joe Morrell.

With Morrell, you can see why they fought so hard with Ipswich for his signature, the’s the player we’ve been missing in the middle.

He’s got that low centre of gravity, can pass a ball and, even against Ipswich, he looks a bit better than many of those around him.

Morrell is like a League One Lassana Diarra – and I have high hopes for him.

Gavin Bazunu - 7

Lee Brown - 6

Connor Ogilvie - 6

Sean Raggett - 6

Mahlon Romeo - 5

Shaun Williams - 7

Joe Morrell - 8

Marcus Harness - 6

Reeco Hackett - 7

Ronan Curtis - 7

John Marquis - 7

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.