The full transcript: Neil Allen's half-time assault on Portsmouth's first-half showing at Northampton

The News’ chief sports writer, Neil Allen, has been there, done that when it comes to covering Pompey.

Sunday, 7th March 2021, 6:00 am

Promotions, FA Cup triumphs, historic European nights, relegations and, of course, administrations – Neil’s seen and experienced it all.

Some great times, you’ll all agree.

Some terrible ones, too, unfortunately.

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And there’s no denying the Blues’ 4-1 humiliation at the hands of Northampton on Saturday certainly falls into the latter category.

In fact, the first-half performance at Sixfields ranks as the worst our chief reporter has witnessed in the two decades he’s been covering Pompey

Four goals without response in the opening 45 minutes saw Kenny Jackett’s side well and truly out of the game before the half-time whistle had even been blown.

Here’s hoping the boss laid into his players as they all retreated to the sanctuary of the away team dressing room at the home of the Cobblers.

Pompey captain Tom Naylor at the full-time whistle at Northampton. Picture: Dennis Goodwin

If not, then perhaps the half-time team talk should have been given to Neil as he let loose on what he had just witnessed on our Facebook Live analysis video during the interval.

Indeed, our man at the ground didn’t hold back.

So much so, that we’ve decided to share it with those of you might have missed it.

‘Disgusting’, ‘heartless’ ‘soulless’ and ‘despicable’ were just some of the terms used to describe Pompey’s first-half showing.

But don’t let us spoil the full-blown rant for you, why not read the full transcript of his Blues attack for yourself below.

You never know, maybe some of the players might even read it, too, and understand why we were all feeling the exact same at around 3.45pm yesterday afternoon.

Take it away, Neil…

‘Well (that was an) absolutely disgusting, gutless, heartless, passionateless, disgusting first-half performance from Pompey.

‘The scoreline does not flatter Northampton whatsoever.

‘They could have got more but for a couple of (Craig) MacGillivray saves and a poor pass.

‘Pompey, really, the players – no heart, no spirit, it’s all very easy, isn't it!

‘Sideways passing, nicey tippy-tappy, left to right, knock it to the defender, left and right, no bravery on the ball, no-one wants to pass the ball forward, everyone wants to play safe

‘Unfortunately, Pompey can't defend at the moment.

‘They're not playing safe, they're playing atrociously.

‘There was a little rally at the end there when (Ronan) Curtis thought he should have had a penalty and had a little moan at the referee at the half-time whistle.

‘But it’s game over and it's absolutely disgraceful this performance.

‘Players are getting caught in possession, players not hearing calls or "man on" - it’s been woeful, it really, really has.

‘It's the worst first-half performance I can actually recall in my years covering Pompey.

‘Kenny Jackett must sort this side out now - four points from 15 going into this game, four points from 15.

‘We keep being told it’s a promotion team, we keep being told it's got wonderful team spirit, well, I ain't seen it for weeks - it's not there, not there.

‘And we've just witnessed that soulless, gutless, 45 minutes - and if the players don't like that, then tough, because we're not liking what we're seeing.

‘It's disgusting, despicable.

‘Sort it out, because this is not good enough, and Kenny Jackett is out of contract in the summer, let's see what happens with that one.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

On Saturday, March 13 Pompey will finally get their day at Wembley.

To celebrate the Blues’ place in the rearranged 2020 EFL Trophy Final, The News has launched an offer that gets you 25% off all our Sports subscriptions.

You can choose your perfect Sports subscription here and use the discount code ROADTOWEMBLEY25 to get the latest news from Fratton Park for less. Offer runs until midnight on March 15.