Gaffer: This Portsmouth is a nearly team - and strikers aren't good enough for top end of League One

Gaffer for a Day, Lee Laver, aged 42 from Stubbington, delivers his verdict on Pompey’s 1-1 draw with Gillingham...

Sunday, 28th February 2021, 5:30 pm
Marcus Harness beating Connor Ogilvie on his way to setting up Sean Raggett for Pompey's opener. Gaffer for a Day Lee Laver believes the winger deserves man of the match for that moment of quality. Picture: Joe Pepler

Let’s be honest, where will Pompey finish this season?

The squad is good enough, on Saturday we must have had the best bench in League One. But I don't think they will actually get automatic promotion.

They are not motivated to get near it, I don't think they play for the manager, he doesn’t get enough out of them.

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This is a nearly team. We’ll finish fifth or sixth unless something changes.

We are okay at the back apart from a few dodgy moments, decent in midfield, quite good on the wings and up front don’t have a natural finisher.

You mentioned Pompey’s strikers.

I don't believe John Marquis and Ellis Harrison are good enough for the top end of League One and Championship.

I watched Harrison a fair bit at Bristol Rovers when he was a winger who cut inside. He’s a different player now, but not a finisher.

Marquis couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo. If there was a prize for scuffing the ball into the ground then he would be world champion.

He’s not for me. He doesn’t gamble in attack, just stands around throwing his arms in the arm having a paddy like a toddler.

It’s all very well playing for Doncaster and having James Coppinger laying the ball on a plate, but the players here are not going to create 10 chances a game for you.

What did you make of the performance against Gillingham?

We started well, it was a good first half and we should have been a couple up.

Then there was an uncharacteristic mistake from Lee Brown and we didn’t do enough in the second half, we never looked like scoring.

I cannot remember the last time we produced a good 90 minutes at home. Even when we’ve beaten teams 4-0, we have laboured for 30 minutes.

We just don't put 90-minute performances at home – and I’m not having it that it’s down to no crowd being present.

It’s down to the players and the manager.

Who was your man of the match?

I would give it to Marcus Harness, just for that superb run and cross which created Sean Raggett’s goal. The one genuine quality moment in the game.

He has not played well since stopped playing as a two up front. He looks a player devoid of confidence ever since.

Harness should be up front, he made Marquis look better when he did, doing his running and linking up play.

I believe he has Championship level of ability, but doesn’t do it often enough. He’s definitely got something.

Perhaps he needs an arm around the shoulder.

Craig MacGillivray 7

Haji Mnoga 7

Sean Raggett 7

Rasmus Nicolaisen 6

Lee Brown 6

Marcus Harness 8

Tom Naylor 6

Andy Cannon 6

Harvey White 7

Ronan Curtis 7

Ellis Harrison 6

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