Not enough leaders, not enough physicality and responding poorly to adversity is in danger of wrecking Portsmouth's season after Rotherham debacle with Ipswich Town up next

Pompey writer Jordan Cross faced the questions in the wake of the second-half capitulation at Rotherham – and and gave a no-nonsense response to sports reporter Pepe Lacey’s questions.

Sunday, 17th October 2021, 3:00 pm

A 4-1 defeat, what are your thoughts on that performance?

'It’s immensely disappointing.

'Pompey keep finding a way to shoot themselves in the foot from positive positions in games.

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'For 30 minutes they started well, were on the front foot, progressive and got themselves into good positions - but the final execution wasn’t there.

'Then from that there’s been a defensive lapse where Lee Brown has given Wes Harding too much time to cross, an easy back post header for Michael Smith and Pompey are then 1-0 down from a good position.

'It’s a recurring theme, it keeps happening and the team keep responding poorly to adversity.'

And then Pompey start well in the second half.

Marcus Harness sums up the mood at Rotherham. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/

'They did well to get themselves back into the game.

'Ryan Tunnicliffe turns over the ball from Dan Barlaser, gives it to Marcus Harness and it’s a good finish.

'It’s Pompey game on from there and they are in the ascendancy, but Gavin Bazunu then made a mistake which proved terminal.

'You’re looking for a response to that, but instead we got a capitulation.

'Three goals in seven minutes - and the goals are preventable.

'Again, it’s not a new thing: Pompey keep making these defensive gaffes.

'They keep shooting themselves in the foot, and there has to be answers found because it’s going to ruin the season.

'Before you know it we’re going to be looking down the table and not up it, if we don’t quickly find the answers.

What was the reasons for the collapse?

'The main point for me is it appears Pompey don’t have enough leaders.

'There doesn’t appear to be enough organisation at the back or enough character: the players respond poorly when things go against them.

'Now I know Michael Smith was given a hard time by Pompey fans, but he looks like one of the best strikers in the division at the moment.

'He’s got two goals and is a main with confidence - you could see that by the way he backheeled in the second goal.

'From there, Pompey heads dropped and there wasn’t the character, the men to dig out the players real men with fire in their belly who wouldn’t allow the performance to drop off.

'Unfortunately if you look at the squad, the defence is where the problem lie and you look to the bench, there’s not a lot there in that department.

'I don’t think there was a defender on the bench, so it looks like Pompey could be in for a rough ride moving forward.

'There’s a lot of questions to answer and I can see why Danny Cowley is an exasperated man.

We saw Connor Ogilvie come back in, what was your take on him?

'Connor was one of the positives, but I don’t really want to talk about positives when we feel so flat.

'Marcus Harness was a positive and he carried the threat in Pompey’s positive periods.

'Connor did reasonably on the left of the trio.

'I thought Sean Raggett did okay, but I’d have to look at the goals again because there was Bazunu’s mistake and two free headers. There’s people culpable for that.

'Marcus was the best player, Connor did okay and I thought Shaun Williams was okay in possession.

'They are small plusses, but let’s not harp on about that too much when the negatives are going to ruin the season.

The problems seem to be repeating themselves.

'Pompey are susceptible to physicality which is concerning.

'We’ve got Ipswich and maybe more worryingly Accrington coming it.

'They can play football but also be physical, and I’m a little worried now that opponents will see Pompey as a soft touch.

'They will think they can outmuscle and roll them over - and on the evidence of this game, it looks like they can.

We saw three subs come on, would you have liked to see Miguel Azeez come on?

'We’d like to see Miguel.

'We thought we may see him in the second half, but maybe Danny didn’t think the time was right when the game was gone.

'I’d like to see him maybe start moving forward.

'There wasn’t a lot of players who covered themselves in glory was there - so maybe we could look at Miguel in the next couple of games coming up.

With Ipswich to come now, what would you like to see?

‘Ipswich may be the ideal opponent in a way.

‘They have a defined way of attacking and there may be gaps to exploit.

‘They gave up a two-goal lead against Cambridge, so hopefully there’s gaps to find.

‘And you’d hope Pompey showed some kind of response and showed some minerals to put this right on Tuesday.

‘It’s a big game isn't it? Fratton under the lights, Paul Cook coming back and a good atmosphere with the Pompey fans up for it.

‘The fans need their player to get them up for it, so they can have some conviction in their team - because I’m not sure they have that at the moment.’