Gaffer: Tornante are good owners who have invested - but I'd like to watch Portsmouth in a decent ground, not a patchwork development

Gaffer For A Day, Ian Limb, aged 53 from Petersfield, reflects on Pompey’s 3-2 victory over Wigan...

Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 1:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 1:47 pm

Did you see that comeback happening?

At half-time, I was chatting to Tony – the guy next to me – and he mentioned how Tranmere in February 2015 was the last time he recalls us coming back from 2-0 down to win.

Certainly we were unlucky to be losing at that stage on Tuesday night. Although, looking at Twitter, there were the usual ‘Eisner get your cheque book out’ and ‘typical rubbish’ comments from people clearly not attending.

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Once we got our second goal to level, it felt as if we had the momentum to go and get the three points, which we did.

As for Wigan, what a bizarre atmosphere from an away end containing 792 fans. I remember our promotion party at Notts County, it was nothing like theirs. Strange old club.

How do you view this season?

The problem is we’ve had very streaky runs, the manager has not known the best formation, the starting line-up has been tweaked too many times, and it’s scandalous Jacobs wasn't a regular earlier.

Andy Redman and Eric Eisner were at Fratton Park on Tuesday night against Wigan - with Gaffer For A Day Ian Limb pleased with most of Tornante's tenure. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

I’m not a huge Danny Cowley fan, but given him the benefit of the doubt. I would still count Shrewsbury away last season as our best display under him – but we’ve never again reached those heights.

We’ve been defensively strong, although, in the first half of the season, needed a centre-forward, with John Marquis not doing it and Hirst struggling at first.

Getting a centre-forward is essential, keeping Sean Raggett is a must and retaining Louis Thompson a real must. But overall, recruitment has to be better.

What did you make of Tornante’s interviews?

I am fully supportive of Tornante, they are good owners, have invested as they said they would, and I appreciate their honesty and openness in the interviews.

However, the only thing which really disappoints me is that, aged 53, I’m wondering whether I’ll ever watch Pompey in a decent ground.

I expected a new North Stand sooner rather than later – and not dependent on reaching the Premier League. It should be built before we get there, not after.

I’d like to see a proper ground, not a patchwork development, which is what Fratton Park is at the moment. As Field of Dreams said: Build it and they will come.

Who was your man of the match?

George Hirst bullied Wigan’s defenders, he didn’t give them a moment’s peace, and while Jack Whatmough had a good game, he was also given a really hard time.

Hirst never played like this at the start of the season, I must admit I didn’t rate him back then, but now he’s a big physical presence up front, capable of excellent touches and lay-offs.

He will be in the Championship next season. If you were Wigan, you’d be thinking he’d be worth a punt after they eventually get promotion.

It’s all about confidence, you can tell Hirst is enjoying himself on the pitch, whereas before he came on for a 15-minute cameo looking petrified of doing something wrong!

Gavin Bazunu – 7

Hayden Carter – 7

Shaun Raggett – 7

Clark Robertson – 7

Connor Ogilvie – 7

Joe Morrell – 8

Louis Thompson – 8

Michael Jacobs – 6

Marcus Harness – 7

Ronan Curtis – 8

George Hirst – 9

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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