Portsmouth’s ‘Roberto Carlos’ on becoming critical influence in side's play-off hopes

Pompey’s ‘Roberto Carlos’ celebrated taking centre stage in his side’s play-off charge with two goals and a crucial return to the first-team picture.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 6:30 am
John Marquis rushes to congratulate Lee Brown following his second goal.

Lee Brown was the Blues’ unlikely hero as they delivered a 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon to snatch back the play-off impetus on the penultimate weekend of the season.

The left-back rounded off two flowing moves in stoppage time to seal a win which gives momentum at a critical moment in the season.

With Charlton drawing at Accrington, the result puts Pompey’s play-off destiny back in their own hands ahead of Stanley’s visit to Fratton Park next Sunday.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Lee Brown in action against AFC Wimbledon

Brown was back in the team after five games out with a hamstring injury, with his team looking shaky at the back in recent games.

His return prompted a return to a back four with boss Danny Cowley talking up his defender’s influence, even prompting comparisons with Brazilian flying machine Carlos.

Brown was taking all that talk in the right spirit, but admitted it was heartening to hear of his value to the Pompey ranks.

He said: ‘There’s a saying that you sometimes become a better player in the treatment room, that was definitely the case this time.

‘He’s been saying about Roberto Carlos.

‘I told the manager all week “I don’t know who you think you’ve got coming back, but it’s not the player you think it is!”.

‘We’ve been joking about that all week, but it is a compliment when you become a better player in the physio room.

‘My phone has never been so busy after the game. I don’t even normally get a text!

‘It’s lovely to score and it’s great, but it’s really not about me. There’s a bigger picture.

‘I’m just delighted with the performance and the win.’

The sight of Brown bagging two goals in such an important game may have been a big surprise on Pompey’s first visit to Wimbledon’s new Plough Lane home, but it could’ve been a hat-trick as a decent second-half opening came his way.

The 30-year-old opted for a cutback, however, and the move petered out, but he wasn’t too disheartened by missing out on taking the matchball home.

Brown added: ‘I tried to cross it for John (Marquis), but maybe I should have taken the shot on for the hat-trick. That wasn’t to be, but I’ll take the two goals.

‘For the first two, I was surprised to find myself there, to be honest, but just concentrated on getting a good connection.

‘I scored two goals a long time ago for Hayes and Yeading in the FA Cup, but never in the league. It’s always good to score, though.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.