Gaffer: Portsmouth must end the Oli Hawkins experiment and choose a centre-half

Gaffer for a Day, Jon Symons, aged 34 from Chessington, gives his verdict on Pompey’s 2-2 draw with Peterborough...

Sunday, 8th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th December 2019, 7:07 pm

Was that two points dropped?

We should have won. It’s fine drawing against your promotion rivals, but they had many players missing, including their star man.

When you see Marcus Maddison not on their team sheet, that gives you a lift, but we couldn’t take advantage of it.

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Gaffer for a Day, Jon Symons, felt goalscorer Ellis Harrison was Pompey's man of the match against Peterborough. Picture: Joe Pepler

I felt Kenny Jackett gave a very good interview afterwards, rightly pointing out we didn’t give their strikers a sniff apart from the defence handing them two two-yard taps-in.

It was definitely two points dropped against a weakened side coming to Fratton Park.

What did you make of Pompey’s defending?

Our defence requires some fine-tuning, but traditionally, with Kenny Jackett and our owners here, the January transfer window hasn’t been great.

Jackett must have had a lot of faith to bring Paul Downing to the club to replace Matt Clarke, but for some reason he has not adjusted.

It might be time to end the Oli Hawkins experiment, perhaps it has run its course. It might be harsh, but centre-backs have to be centre-backs.

Hawkins is a good back-up, but shouldn’t be first choice when we’ve signed two central defenders in the summer.

Who was your man of the match?

John Marquis didn’t stop running, but I’m going for Ellis Harrison.

He held the ball up really well, bringing others into play and there’s also that relentless running.

It’s frustrating it took so long to play our best two forwards together in the first-team, but now Harrison and Marquis are linking really well.

Although Marquis’ goalscoring confidence seems low in front of goal at present, he has probably lost his scoring ability since we signed him.

What did you make of Dan Butler upon his return?

He look good, clearly he has really matured since the days of that horrible backpass at Leyton Orient when we lost in March 2013!

That was when he was a different player and the team weren’t very good.

He always has been a good player with good energy and had some decent games with us when the club were going through difficult times.

Butler really impressed me on Saturday, I thought he was excellent.

Craig MacGillivray - 7

Brandon Haunstrup - 6

Christian Burgess - 7

Oli Hawkins - 5

Lee Brown - 7

Ben Close - 6

Tom Naylor - 6

Ryan Williams - 7

John Marquis - 8

Ronan Curtis - 8

Ellis Harrison - 8