On this day in 2005: Former Newcastle hero Laurent Robert calls for emergency meeting at Portsmouth

Former Pompey midfielder Laurent Robert
Former Pompey midfielder Laurent Robert
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On this day in 2005, Laurent Robert called for an emergency team meeting to try to halt Pompey’s slide towards the bottom three.

The Frenchman spoke of his unhappiness at the Blues' poor start to the season and the way the team was playing.

Robert was jeered by some supporters after being substituted near the end of a defeat to Charlton.

But he said he accepted being taken off and praised fans for their support, saying he walked down the tunnel to get some water before coming back.

The midfielder blamed his side for being too defensive and inviting pressure in the 2-1 reverse.

But he insisted it was the fault of the players and not boss Alain Perrin.

Robert told The News at the time: ‘It’s very difficult. I’m not happy. 

'I’ve come here and everybody knows my ambition. 

'Now it’s very difficult for me and the club as well. 

‘I’m not happy with the results and the way the team is playing. I’ve come here not just to stay up but finish in the top 10. So it’s very difficult to speak about our ambition now. 

‘Alain does good work during the week on the training ground and gives confidence to the players. 

‘The problem is with the players. It’s down to the players to play. 

‘When everyone is at training again on Tuesday we all need to speak face-to-face about what’s happening and where the problem is. 

‘I think the manager is doing good work. He told us at half-time to be compact and disciplined. But there was no discipline. 

‘We were ahead, but then in the second half there was pressure. I don’t know why. We’re at home with good supporters. Why pressure? You need to play your football, not Charlton playing the football. 

‘The game is in your hands. You need to attack. 

‘In the first half we played well and had chances to score more than one. But in the second half we couldn’t play. I don’t know why. 

‘We panicked. 

‘You think you can play defensive and win a game? No. You need to play. You play to attack. 

‘Our problem is that we’re not playing well for 90 minutes.’ 

He added: ‘I could understand why I came off. I went down the tunnel to get water, and then I came back to the bench.’ 

Robert demanded Pompey win their two matches before facing Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United. 

He said: ‘It’s very difficult now. We haven’t won at home since the start of the season. 

‘So we’ve got to beat both Sunderland and Wigan.’ 

Perrin stated he had no idea why fans booed when Robert was leaving the pitch. 

The Frenchman wasn’t sure if the reaction from supporters was because he was being taken off or because they thought he had a poor game. 

He said: ‘I heard the boos when Laurent came off but I don’t know why that was so. You will have to ask the supporters.’