Sorry... my Pompey glass isn't as full as usual

It can’t be a whole year since we were last looking ahead to a new League One season and assessing Pompey’s chances.

By Steve Bone
Friday, 6th August 2021, 1:00 pm
It's a major rebuilding job Danny Cowley is undertaking with the Blues squad / Picture: Joe Pepler
It's a major rebuilding job Danny Cowley is undertaking with the Blues squad / Picture: Joe Pepler

Oh that’s right, it’s not. It’s 11 months, by virtue of the fact last season didn’t start until September 12.

I remember apathy and low expectations among Pompey fans ahead of the 2020-21 season and I wonder if it’s a similar story this year.

Eleven months ago, another play-off failure was fresh in minds and Kenny Jackett’s continued presence in the manager’s chair wasn’t hugely popular with supporters.

Now we have a new manager in place, who, it seems, fans generally are happy to see there. But there’s still not much optimism over Pompey’s promotion chances.

Normally I am in ‘glass-half-full’ mode at this time of year – evidenced by the fact that last September I predicted we’d finish second.

It looked a decent prediction until ‘all Hull broke loose’ at Fratton on the fourth Saturday in January.

This time, I am just not feeling it. As much as Cowley’s recruitment so far has been solid, it is a major rebuilding job he has had to undertake.

We lost too many in one go at the end of last term, in my opinion, to be expected to be among the frontrunners this time. Had we held on to Big Mac and Big Jack, I’d be more confident.

That said, unlike some, I will be delighted if the teamsheet tomorrow includes the names Marquis and Curtis, as looks very likely. For all the failings of last season’s squad, those two provided their fair share of goals and assists and if they can give us the same totals again, with one or two other forwards - perhaps new ones - offering more than the under-achieving Cannons, Williamses and Harnesses did in 20-21, we’ll have hope.

As it is, I predict we’ll sit somewhere between mid-table and the fringes of the play-off race most of the campaign and perhaps have a late surge for the dreaded knockouts. I don’t see Sunderland or big-spending Ipswich running away with it as some predict, but I do think there are enough teams in the division capable of edging us out. Mind you, I’ve been wrong before...