Gaffer: Portsmouth played some lovely football - but where were the substitutes?

Gaffer for a Day, Paul Fletcher, aged 24 from Cosham, reflects on Pompey’s 2-2 draw at Bristol Rovers...

Sunday, 27th October 2019, 5:00 pm
Gaffer for a Day, Paul Fletcher, was disappointed Ellis Harrison was Kenny Jackett's only substitute against Bristol Rovers - and used in the 90th minute. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

What did you make of that?

It wasn’t like Coventry, the manager didn’t bring on an extra defender to try to hold it, we looked comfortable.

If we had taken some of our chances we could have run away with that game, we were fantastic in that first half and looked like a side that is going to challenge.

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We were also good in the second half and even when we scored our second didn’t take the foot off the gas, we still kept going forward.

There was some lovely football in that first half, but it feels like a defeat, to draw after having a two-goal lead with 12 minutes to play is quite embarrassing.


Did you fear there would be a late equaliser?

Not at all, we were comfortable, although last season defensively would have held on to win that.

For me the turning point was when John Marquis got the ball in the corner flag down the left, with loads of Rovers players around him, and we didn’t commit any men forward to help.

We then lost the ball, it was next lumped forward by us to no-one and Rovers started attacking us again,

They were always going to throw men forward, so we should have looked to hold it by the corner flag for a few minutes to waste time.


Anything Kenny Jackett could have done differently?

Although we were very comfortable, and I couldn’t see the equaliser coming, I felt Jackett made a mistake with the substitutions.

We were crying out for an earlier substitute, certainly after we scored our second goal on 70 minutes, we needed fresh legs and a few were on yellow cards.

I would definitely have brought on Marcus Harness for Ryan Williams, 100 per cent, and Ellis Harrison should have come on earlier.

Instead Harrison was introduced in the 90th minute, while Rovers had brought on all three of their substitutes and it gave them more energy at the end.


Who stood out?

Ronan Curtis was my man of the match, he worked his socks off down the left, up and down, tracking back, and gave everything.

I was a bit surprised to see Harness dropped for him, he is probably one of our best players this season, but it sort of paid off.

Curtis had a great game – and what a good header to score with. He has definitely worked on his heading over the summer.

He’s got to stay in the team now, so I would instead put Harness on the right in place of Williams, who seems to go nowhere with the ball.

Craig MacGillivray 7

Ross McCrorie 7

Christian Burgess 6

Sean Raggett 7

Lee Brown 6

Tom Naylor 8

Ben Close 7

Ryan Williams 6

Gareth Evans 7

Ronan Curtis 9

John Marquis 7