Gaffer: Portsmouth should have played two up front against Shrewsbury

Gaffer for a day Paul Fletcher, aged 23, from Cosham, gives his thoughts on Pompey’s League One curtain-raiser defeat at Shrewsbury...

Sunday, 4th August 2019, 7:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 11th August 2019, 12:04 pm

In your preview you predicted a Pompey win – I’m sure you didn't expect that?

I didn’t expect that at all. I thought it would have been a better attacking display than that.

It was very negative playing one up front. We should have played two up top when we saw they were playing five big guys at the back.

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John Marquis was winning every header but it was being flicked on to absolutely no-one.

Marquis was being kicked around and I thought “Here we go, it’s going to be a long day”.

Even we went down to 10 men, we had Ellis Harrison and Brett Pitman on and I thought we maybe could have scored late.

But when Ronan Curtis had that shot at the death and it hit Christian Burgess, then we could have been there until the next day and probably wouldn’t have scored.

Gaffer for a day Paul Fletcher felt John Marquis was isolated up front on his own against Shrewsbury. Picture: Simon Davies

Could Pompey have done much about Shrewsbury’s goal?

I was a bit worried about our defence but they were solid.

It took a wonder strike to beat Craig MacGillivray.

There is nothing we could have done about it. There could have been two keepers in that goal and it still would have gone in.

It just flew in and it was one of their only shots on target they had all game.

Who was your man of the match?

It was between Lee Brown and Tom Naylor – I’ll probably go with the latter.

Naylor won everything in the midfield again and he knocked the ball around very well.

To be fair, I thought Brown had a quality game down the left-hand side.

He linked up really well with Marcus Harness and Ronan Curtis but Naylor just edged it for me.

Are you still as confident Pompey will be promoted?

I am, it’s only the first game of the season.

Luton lost their first game to us last campaign and went on to win the title.

There are 45 matches still to go. A lot of these players hadn't played a game together and are still gelling.

Would you like to see any more additions before the transfer window closes?

I don’t know where Kenny Jackett would strengthen.

Maybe it would be a number 10 or another winger to replace Jamal Lowe but there’s not a desperate need.

Jackett just needs to find his best side and formation for the players he’s got.

Paul’s Pompey ratings

Craig MacGillivray – 7

Anton Walkes (James Bolton 6) – 6

Paul Downing – 7

Christian Burgess – 6

Lee Brown – 7

Tom Naylor – 8

Damien McCrorie – 6

Marcus Harnes – 7

Gareth Evans (Brett Pitman 6) – 6

Ronan Curtis – 6

John Marquis – 7