Portsmouth fans were right to boo at Fratton Park following an 'insipid' display in the defeat to Cambridge United

Pompey fans were right to boo the team off the pitch yesterday according to Portsmouth News’ Jordan Cross as the Blues fell to their fourth consecutive defeat against Cambridge United.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 11:30 am
Updated Sunday, 19th September 2021, 3:42 pm

Here the Pompey writer discusses the crowd’s reaction to the defeat at Fratton Park among all the other key talking points from the loss to the U’s.

Q: Is it fair to say that starting with Azeez and Harrison didn’t exactly work for Pompey today?

A: Danny Cowley admitted that he got the team selection wrong yesterday. From a personal point of view, looking at the team sheet before the game, it was the right XI given the circumstances with Joe Morrell unavailable due to a family bereavement and Connor Ogilvie’s injury. Cowley felt that Azeez was the right choice alongside Ellis Harrison, considering John Marquis’s recent struggles.

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At the end of the game, Cowley pointed out that there wasn’t enough pressure at the front end of the pitch, indirectly mentioning Ellis (Harrison) as a factor in Pompey not gaining as much of a threat as he would have liked.

For me, the problems were actually in the final third. Looking at the delivery of the ball on numerous occasions there was a lack of quality in the supply to Harrison rather than his individual performance. If the supply isn’t good enough against a very low block as we saw from Cambridge, you’ll struggle to score goals.

Q: Was there any sign of the blueprint that Danny Cowley had set out in the week coming to fruition today?

A: Unfortunately not. I think Danny Cowley privately ranked that performance as one of the worst from one of his sides in his management career. Too often from advanced positions, Pompey failed to pick out players in the ‘delivery’ part of what Cowley was referencing. The teams faults were terribly short, and there was little in terms of execution because Pompey failed to carve out a number of chances of note. For a team that had 62 percent possession in the first half and then for Cambridge to have more shots on goal than the home side.

Pompey's players were met with a chorus of boos following the defeat to Cambridge United Photograph:PinPep Media / Joe Pepler

That stat is a damning indictment of Pompey’s performance and reflected what wasn’t right.

Q: Clark Robertson missed the game due to an injury, how big a miss will he be for Pompey?

A:It goes without saying how big a miss he’ll be. He’s been one of the big positives of the promising early start to the season. Not only does he bring a defence resilience, but his left foot and quality on the ball was able to open up the left side of the pitch when Pompey are in possession.

That was a concern of the Cowley’s going in to yesterday’s game, that they would lack that ability to switch to the left. As a result, Paul Downing came in and did little wrong but a player of Clark Robertson’s promise so far is always going to be a loss.

Q: Pompey were met with boos at full-time, what were your thoughts after hearing that?

A: From a personal point of view, I don’t like booing. There were boos at half-time and at full-time and there were chants of ‘this is embarrassing’ at the second goal and it was all totally justified. Pompey were not at the races against a team that were similar to may that came to Fratton Park under Paul Cook. They sat deep and made things difficult but Pompey simply didn’t have the minerals to open them up. It was a grim afternoon and the supporters, I felt on this occasion, were entirely justified to make their feelings known. Danny Cowley takes the blame for the performance, but there are a number of players who need to look at themselves.

The supporters were right to boo at full-time after that insipid effort, to make their feelings entirely clear.