Gaffer: Off Express FM and loving being back among Portsmouth fans - but didn't enjoy that Cambridge United display

Gaffer For A Day, Liam Howes, aged 29 from Fareham, delivers his verdict on Pompey’s goalless draw at Cambridge United...

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 12:00 pm

Back among the fans then, Liam. Enjoy it?

The last time I attended a competitive Pompey game as a supporter was the 6-1 win over Cheltenham in May 2017.

I was a season-ticket holder in the North Stand Lower and then, at the final whistle, it was onto the pitch!

It was amazing to be back there on Monday. Hearing the sound of ‘Play Up Pompey’ as the players came out was a really special moment.

Obviously I no longer do Express FM any more and the Cambridge United game reminded me how much I missed just being a fan, attending games with friends and having a beer.

People I had never met before were also coming up to me saying nice things, which was appreciated.

Pompey’s performance didn’t ruin it for you then?

Mahlon Romeo was Gaffer For A Day Liam Howes' man of the match against Cambridge United. Picture: Dennis Goodwin/ProSportsImages

I was disappointed with how we played – two shots on target is a stand-out reason why it just wasn’t good enough.

You wouldn’t have even noticed that Cambridge were down to 10 men, we didn’t take advantage of that whatsoever.

I found it a boring spectacle. For the neutral it was probably entertaining, but I didn’t travel all that way for a goalless draw.

It was a scrappy game with no real clear-cut chances for either team. And felt like we were watching us play Wycombe on occasions!

Who was your man of the match?

Mahlon Romeo has been brilliant for us this season. I know he can blow hot and cold, but against Cambridge was the only player with grit and determination.

That first-half block alone prevented defeat. We deserved nothing from the game and that moment saved us, it was a goal all the way.

Mind you, he was lucky not to be sent off late in the second half when he made a foul and already on a booking.

Romeo was man of the match all-day long, such a good all-round performance.

What would you like to see happen in January?

I would move on Gassan Ahadme, Miguel Azeez and George Hirst. I know Hirst has had a couple of good games, but we need to improve in attack.

In terms of contracted players, Marquis has to be first out of the door. Give him a bit of credit, he is determined to play well for us, but it just hasn’t worked. Time to go.

Get rid of the dead wood from Kenny Jackett, so then there’s no excuses. That includes Paul Downing and Ellis Harrison too.

I would also offload Michael Jacobs, who just doesn’t do it for me. I know he has come on and had a couple of good minutes recently, but he’s on a lot of money.

Gavin Bazunu – 7

Kieron Freeman – 5

Sean Raggett – 6

Connor Ogilvie – 6

Mahlon Romeo – 8

Reeco Hackett – 6

Shaun Williams – 6

Joe Morrell – 7

Marcus Harness – 7

Ronan Curtis – 6

George Hirst – 6

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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