Gaffer: Portsmouth match with Sunderland should have been abandoned. But I'm delighted it wasn't

Connor Christie, aged 26, from Cosham, reflects on Pompey’s 4-0 victory over Sunderland...

Sunday, 3rd October 2021, 5:00 pm
Gaffer for a Day, Connor Christie, believes John Marquis has become a Pompey scapegoat and was delighted with his two goals against Sunderland. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

Come on, admit it, you didn’t see that coming.

I wasn’t even expecting us to beat Sunderland, let alone by that scoreline!

We were brilliant, the press actually worked. We were playing on the front foot and winning every second ball.

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There was a bit of aggression about us, refusing to let them play, which is something we don’t do enough of.

As for Sunderland, they were constantly looking for excuses. As soon as they were 2-0 down they weren’t playing the game, they were desperate to get it called off.

Should it have been abandoned?

The weather wasn’t that bad, but it got to the point where the pitch wasn’t in great condition.

Quite a few times their keeper came out to collect the ball and it stopped in a puddle, while back passes were getting halfway there.

Sunderland’s manager and players were moaning, yet both teams were required to deal with the conditions.

Having said that, if you were a neutral then it probably should have been called off. Not that I wanted it too!

Once an hour had gone, I couldn’t see the referee calling it off, especially with such a ridiculous scoreline. If it had been goalless it may have been different.

I see you’ve awarded a 10 rating. Nobody awards a 10!

Sean Raggett deserved it, he’s such a dependable player, one of the best centre-backs we’ve had in a long time.

He was solid, good in the air and led the team from the back. The weather didn’t even bother him, he just got on with it.

I liked how Raggett realised the problems trying to play it out from the back in those conditions, instead putting it out for a corner or throw-in. Every decision he had to make, he was spot on.

Sometimes he gets a bit of a bad rap, and there is the odd game when he doesn’t play well, but what defender doesn’t?

What can this result do for John Marquis?

I think he gets a bit too much stick. He’s not the most technically gifted player in the world, but that’s not what we are asking of him.

It’s his work-rate, his ability to press, we want him to do a lot of running for the team, but also need to get the ball into the box for him.

Marquis is a scapegoat. It’s always easy to target the goalscorer when we are not scoring, but he also needs to be supplied.

Look at his record, he did really well last season yet, as he has started this year poorly, people get on his back.

Gavin Bazunu – 9

Kieron Freeman – 8

Sean Raggett – 10

Shaun Williams – 7

Mahlon Romeo – 7

Lee Brown – 7

Ryan Tunnicliffe – 7

Joe Morrell – 8

Marcus Harness – 8

Ronan Curtis – 9

John Marquis – 9

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