Gaffer: Portsmouth fans are beginning to turn and targeting players. It's time to play the kids to lift us

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Gaffer For A Day, Simon Milne, aged 37 from Petersfield, assesses Pompey’s 1-1 draw with Oxford United...

So, did you enjoy that?

A draw was a fair result, we played slightly better football, but Oxford could have gone a couple up.

It was a typical end-of-season game when our players knew it didn’t matter. I hate criticising players, I appreciate they are under pressure, but surely they can play the ball forward every now and then?

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We are meant to be a top team in this league, so should be pushing for a win against a side who hadn’t got a victory for 15 matches.

Our fans became frustrated because our football was so predictable, the tempo was shocking. Set-pieces involved five touches before getting it into the box, short corners, a lack of creativity.

You mention the crowd, can you sense them turning?

I’ve noticed it in the last couple of games now. At Shrewsbury they were getting on Dane Scarlett’s back, yet he’s a young lad playing out of position most of the time. How’s that going to help him?

Matt Macey can't believe it after Oxford United equalise in a disappointing 1-1 draw. Picture: Barry ZeeMatt Macey can't believe it after Oxford United equalise in a disappointing 1-1 draw. Picture: Barry Zee
Matt Macey can't believe it after Oxford United equalise in a disappointing 1-1 draw. Picture: Barry Zee

These players are only human, privileged people playing a good standard of football, for us to get on their backs is not what Pompey is about. We support out team.

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We’re not what we used to be. Maybe that is me getting older, but it has changed since the Premier League days, before that we didn’t expect anything.

On Tuesday night they were giving Joe Rafferty stick because he kept going backwards, Owen Dale is another easy target because he’s a loan player.

The problem is, we had written the season off, only to have a sniff of the play-offs to raise hopes again. Then it’s an anti-climax.

Anyone stand out for you?

Matt Macey is one of the few that tried to get a bit of tempo into the game, encouraging us late on to push up.

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At one point 90 per cent of our squad were in our own 18-yard box and our goalkeeper was showing a bit of urgency, telling them to get up the pitch.

It seemed few wanted to win it, instead settling for a draw. I feel sorry for Colby Bishop, it was all sideways and backwards passing, driving us crazy.

So what team selection would you like for the rest of the season?

For the final three games, I’d like to see all the loans dropped and our kids to be given a chance.

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I would even leave Matt Macey out and put in Josh Oluwayemi. We know what Macey can do – and I’d like to sign him – but I want to see if Oluwayemi is good enough.

The chances of any of the loanees being here next season, apart from Macey, is slim, so give the kids a run out.

Put in Koby Mottoh, Josh Dockerill, even if on the bench. Get them used to the first-team environment, travelling to Derby would do them good.

Matt Macey – 6

Joe Rafferty – 4

Sean Raggett – 5

Di’Shon Bernard – 6

Connor Ogilvie – 5

Marlon Pack – 5

Ryan Tunnicliffe – 5

Tom Lowery – 6

Paddy Lane – 6

Colby Bishop – 6

Michael Jacobs – 6