Teenage Kicks: Cup exit was a shame but our key focus is promotion
Hello. My name is Ben Sturt, I am 17 years old and have been a season-ticket holder in the Fratton End for more than a decade.
In this column, I discuss the key talking points at Pompey – from the perspective of a younger supporter...
Pompey’s exit from the FA Cup means there can be no excuses when it comes to our League campaign.
But despite promotion being our main objective it was still a big blow to fall at the first hurdle.
Almost to the point of embarrassment.
We are a League Two side, so expectations are low, but we won the FA Cup eight years ago and were most recently in the final in 2010.
Pompey have rich Cup history in recent years, it is a competition we should take seriously and give our upmost in.
Taking this into account, I would consider our first round exit from the Cup as Paul Cook’s biggest failure since arriving at the club.
To limp out against Wycombe Wanderers was disappointing.
But, every cloud has a silver lining, that being we can put our full focus on getting out of League Two.
We need to prove ourselves to be the fittest side in the division, to keep concentration throughout 90 minutes, and to win games on the bounce.
With our squad, and the talent we have, especially going forward, this is more than achievable.
As Cook reiterates, it is early days, and we are in a good position considering this fact.
The automatic promotion spots are in touching distance.
We need to get there and stay there.
I believe that Kyle Bennett has improved in recent games and can play a crucial role in the games ahead.
Bennett recently said in an interview that he wants to score upwards of 10 more goals this season, and I’ve noticed he’s not been afraid to shoot.
On form, he is a dangerous prospect for defences.
The same can be said for both Gary Roberts and Carl Baker, we need to see more of the rich attacking play they have to offer.
Because if the three behind the striker are having a good game then Pompey usually win.
With the new emergency loan rules, Pompey’s large squad should give us an advantage over opponents.
Note the word ‘should’, it is up to the management and players to make this a reality.
Pompey need to avoid falling into lapses in form similar to last season.
They need to focus on doing the opposite, and becoming brutish, unforgiving opponents for the rest of the campaign.
We cannot be pushovers like we were against Wycombe, being second best all over the park.
Pompey are out of the FA Cup.
But we all know promotion is the necessity from this campaign.
Let’s back Paul Cook to give this season his best shot.
I’m confident we can have a positive outcome and reach League One.