Gaffer: Portsmouth will reach the play-offs - and Danny Cowley must remain as boss beyond them

Gaffer for a Day, Mark Harvey, aged 59 from Gosport, assesses Pompey’s 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon...

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 5:30 pm
Gaffer for a Day, Mark Harvey, from Gosport, is convinced Pompey will win their final match to qualify for League One's play-offs. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

What are your thoughts on Pompey’s display?

Aside from the opening 20 minutes, that was our best performance for a long time, possible under Danny Cowley

We controlled the match in the second half, nullifying Wimbledon’s threat comfortably, while the first two goals were through moving the ball quickly and playing superb football.

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Ben Close got better as the game went on, while Paul Downing won everything in the air. Considering he had been out for so long, Downing came close to being man of the match, but thas had to go to Lee Brown.

The hoodoo of not winning games having conceded the first goal is slowly going away, thankfully.

Do the Cowleys have a Pompey future?

I saw an interview with Danny Cowley the other day when he said it’s a bit like a roller coaster when watching Pompey. He definitely understands how we feel!

I want him to stay. I love his passion and enthusiasm, not just for the football club but for the city.

He seems to be quite open with the supporters and when we lose you can see his disappointment, unlike some previous managers.

Look at the football we have played at times in his 11 matches so far. Imagine that with a pre-season and his own signings. Let’s keep him here.

Can Pompey clinch a play-off spot?

Beating Wimbledon means we have to go out and defeat Accrington to reach the play-offs, so it’s all very clear.

Accrington aren’t a bad side, but I believe we have a slight edge psychologically which will get us the victory on Sunday.

Let’s not forget, they let slip a two-goal lead at the Crown Ground. We scored twice inside eight minutes at the start of the second half and looked world class for that period.

On Saturday, we netted twice before half time, which is another example of a psychological boost considering the timing. It shouldn't make a difference, but it does.

I think we’ll end up playing Sunderland in the play-off semi-finals, although I’d prefer Lincoln.

Looking at your ratings, not all impressed you.

John Marquis can’t play as a lone striker. He can’t hold the ball up and we should call him ‘Two touch’.

When the ball comes in and he has to be instinctive, his reaction is up there with some of the best. It’s when he has to think about it where he struggles.

That time when he ran through from the halfway line typified Marquis. I turned around and said he was going to miss – he had too much time.

He didn’t look interested, sometimes walking back with his head, but disappointed me. You don’t mind if players aren’t that great, as long as they give everything.

Mind you, if Marquis scores the winning goal in the play-off final to get us promoted, then he’s the best player we’ve ever had!

Craig MacGillivray 7

Callum Johnson 7

Paul Downing 7

Sean Raggett 7

Lee Brown 8

Ben Close 8

Tom Naylor 7

Marcus Harness 7

Ryan Williams 7

Ronan Curtis 7

John Marquis 5

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