Gaffer: No League One team could have lived with Portsmouth in that first half against Shrewsbury

Gaffer for a Day, Ryan Fisher, aged 40 from Hilsea, delivers his verdict on Pompey’s 2-1 win at Sunderland...

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 5:30 pm
Ben Close was Ryan Fisher's man of the match in Saturday's win at Shrewsbury. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/

How do you view that Pompey result?

I don’t think any team in League One could have lived with us during the final 30 minutes of the first half.

That was probably the best I have seen us play for months, I didn’t want that half to end.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There were two really good team goals created by each full-back, along with a great finish from Marcus Harness

Everyone seems to want the ball, there’s now hunger, commitment and passion.

I live right next to the training ground, overlooking it, and, from what I’ve seen, the place looks energetic these days, plenty of laughing and joking.

Was it a sending off?

I would be surprised if it is overturned, but half the reason for John Marquis’ dismissal is his touch has been found out again.

It’s something he needs to work on, the ball always seems to runaway from him when he attempts to control it.

If you control the ball better, he wouldn’t have been in that position to make that challenge.

A lot of fans say Kenny Jackett never played to Marquis’ strengths, but he’s not the player he was at Doncaster.

Up front is definitely an area we need to improve on in the summer. With a really top striker we would be out of this.

Who stood out for you?

I have been calling Ben Close to return to the side for weeks and weeks – and he just pipped Marcus Harness to man of the match.

I don’t think he is everyone’s cup of tea, I guess Close can sometimes be lightweight and go missing in games, but he can play a pass. We’ve really missed that.

He complements Tom Naylor really well, always wanting the ball and probing away. It suits the Cowleys’ style, getting him on the ball as much as possible.

With Close there is also that goal threat. You can’t fault Andy Cannon’s work-rate, he always puts a shift in, but hasn’t got the same goal threat.

So where is this season heading?

Before the Cowleys arrived, I thought our best bet would be finishing in the top 10. Now it has got really interesting.

With Rochdale and Wigan coming up, if we can get six points then I think we’ll creep into fifth or sixth.

I know it’s just two games in, but the Cowleys have got Marcus Harness going again, Tom Naylor no longer appears tired, Michael Jacobs is fit, Callum Johnson is fit and there is still a lot to see from Ronan Curtis this season.

We also don’t have to play anyone above us in the league. It’s in our own hands – and we have a really good chance.

Craig MacGillivray - 7

Callum Johnson - 8

Jack Whatmough - 8

Sean Raggett - 8

Lee Brown - 8

Tom Naylor - 8

Ben Close - 9

Marcus Harness - 8

Ryan Williams - 8

Michael Jacobs - 7

John Marquis - 6

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.