What we learnt from Pompey's win against U's

Jeff Marshman looks back on what we learnt from the win against Colchester...

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

Cook can change

The most notable thing to come from the win over Colchester was Paul Cook’s post-match vow to scrap his preferred 4-2-3-1 system.

That’s after becoming disillusioned with opposing teams’ spoiling tactics at Fratton Park.

With an hour on the clock and Pompey unable to break down a stubborn Colchester side intent on collecting a point, the manager was forced to switch things up.

The introduction of Conor Chaplin, alongside Noel Hunt, gave the hosts a new attacking vigour, with Gary Roberts’ late double the reward.

Many fans have been crying out for two up front at home and Cook is now set to answer their calls.

For his part, the Blues boss fully expected the U’s to come and have a go at his side.

They didn’t and Cook has now decided enough is enough.

Pompey are in

safe hands

Some goalkeepers are privileged to be in a position where they collect their money without really having to do their job (I am thinking of the Barcelonas and Real Madrids of this world).

It’s not going to be quite that straightforward for David Forde this season.

But the reality is that there will be games when Pompey’s No1 is a spectator for the most part.

The sign of a top keeper, though, is one who can be relied upon to make a save at any given moment.

And that was seen on Saturday as Colchester came close to performing a smash-and-grab job on the Blues.

It’s easy to forget but a matter of minutes before Pompey eventually broke the U’s down, the previously untested Forde hurled himself low down to his right to make a fantastic stop from Craig Slater.

And then late in the game, with the result already assured, the Republic of Ireland international made another terrific double stop to ensure he collected a deserved clean sheet.

Three shots on Pompey’s goal, three great saves and three points. Little wonder most are happy with the man on loan from Millwall.

Talbot can become fans’ favourite

He had big boots to fill following his summer arrival from Chesterfield – replacing the popular Ben Davies.

And Drew Talbot delivered his best Blues display yet to suggest he can cement his place in Paul Cook’s starting XI this term.

Marauding up and down the right flank like his predecessor, Talbot was an efficient forward outlet, delivering a number of crosses into the box with both feet.

Defensively, he was also assured, earning the respect of the home fans by blocking a cross with his face and refusing the aid of treatment when others may well have sought a nice lie down to recover.

Having previously played as a striker, all of the tools are there for Talbot to fulfil the attacking full-back role favoured by Cook.

And on Saturday’s showing, he is well on his way to winning over the Fratton faithful.