Gaffer: The Fratton roar was back on emotional Portsmouth day against Ipswich

Gaffer for a Day, Daniel Byrne, aged 37 from Waterlooville, gives his verdict on Pompey’s 1-0 victory over Ipswich...

Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 5:23 pm

A big win for Pompey then?

That was the best I have seen us play this season.

It wasn’t classy football, but there was endeavour and heart. We matched Ipswich physically and deserved to get the win.

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Gaffer for a Day, Daniel Byrne, made Ellis Harrison his man of the match against Ipswich. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

There was a spell in the second half, around 65-70 minutes, when we were under the cosh and the fans got going, it felt like Fratton Park for the first time in ages.

As for the referee, Brett Huxtable, he was horrendous for both sides, not fit for purpose and overweight!

Who stood out?

I thought Ellis Harrison was unbelievable, he has been fantastic in the last two home games.

Aerially he is brilliant, does not stop running, and epitomised Pompey on Saturday – not always beautiful but effort, industry and endeavour.

Harrison was class, he doesn’t look big but wins a lot of flick-ons.

Him, Tom Naylor, Christian Burgess and Sean Raggett showed immense commitment and work-rate.

What did you make of tributes to Ron Saunders, John Jenkins and Jim Smith?

It was certainly moving. Those videos shown on the big screen before the game were touching, if that didn’t affect anyone then I will be very surprised.

Being in the South stand, I heard chants of 'Jim Smith’s Blue and White Army’ and ones about John Jenkins too, which was great to hear.

The ground was as full as I have seen this year and everyone joined in with a very fitting tribute.

No doubt John was looking down on us with a big smile.

How do you see this season panning out?

Firstly we have Wycombe on Boxing Day, and they will be without their talisman Adebayo Akinfenwa following his sending off against Oxford United.

But I can’t see us getting into the automatic spots, Wycombe, Ipswich and Peterborough are too strong.

Instead we’ll reach the play-offs, which a lot of our fans would take at this moment in time.

There is obviously still a bit of work to do to get there, we’ll need to get four points from the next two games to give ourselves a chance.

Craig MacGillivray - 7

Ross McCrorie (James Bolton - 7) - 7

Christian Burgess - 8

Sean Raggett - 7

Anton Walkes - 7

Ben Close - 7

Tom Naylor - 8

Ryan Williams - 7

Andy Cannon - 7

Ronan Curtis - 7

Ellis Harrson - 9