Gaffer: Not convinced by Brett Pitman and John Marquis partnership in scruffy Portsmouth win over Doncaster

Gaffer for a Day, Matt Reeder, aged 45 from Harrogate, gives his views on Pompey’s 2-1 win at Doncaster...

Sunday, 6th October 2019, 6:00 pm
Gaffer for a Day, Matt Reeder, from Harrogate, named Ben Close as his man of the match against Doncaster. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/PinPep

What are your thoughts on that?

I don’t think it was a great performance, a smash and grab without any doubt. We got lucky.

Doncaster hit the crossbar twice, while we had one shot in the first half, one corner all game and it was poor, not good enough.

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We didn’t seem to have too much going forward at all, we were often laboured with no final ball and hardly any crosses were put in.

At least that’s now two wins in a row, which breeds confidence, and from confidence you can play free-flowing football. We still need creativity, though.


Who was your man of the match?

Ben Close was outstanding, in the mix throughout, set up the first goal and reads the game so well.

We wouldn’t have won without him, at least he was trying to drive the team forward, otherwise it was too sideways and not enough forward motion.

He gives us something going forward, but we need more than that as a team.


What did you make of the Brett Pitman and John Marquis strike partnership?

I really don’t think it works at all, perhaps Harrison is now a consideration after his winning entrance from the bench.

My dad joked about how for years we've tried to stop Marquis scoring. Now we’ve done it – he’s not scoring at all!

Marquis was awful every time passed a ball and Pitman didn't have anything going forward.

Harrison came on and scored a quality header, so let’s chuck him in, there’s nothing to lose. But, of course, if you have two up front you need to provide service.


What was the supporter reception towards Kenny Jackett?

When Doncaster equalised, some fans became agitated and there were a few calls of ‘We want Jackett out’ which began to become louder and louder.

It emanated from the corner near the main stand, not particularly loud but still noticeable, then a few counter-shouts of ‘Support your team’.

When Ellis Harrison scored with his header, the mood changed, the chants disappeared. That goal eased the atmosphere.

Still, there was fantastic support at Doncaster from our fans and, in the end, it was a scruffy win which was needed.


Craig MacGillivray – 7

James Bolton – 8

Christian Burgess – 8

Sean Raggett – 7

Lee Brown – 7

Marcus Harness – 6

Ben Close – 9

Tom Naylor – 6

Gareth Evans – 8

John Marquis (46 mins Ellis Harrison – 7) – 5

Brett Pitman – 6