Gaffer: Portsmouth will finish as League One champions on the final day

Gaffer for a Day, Crispin Harwood, aged 50 from Cosham, surveys tonight’s Pompey clash with Peterborough...

Monday, 29th April 2019, 6:45 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 6:58 pm
Gaffer for a Day, Crispin Harwood, has been impressed with Ronan Curtis' maiden Pompey season. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

My crystal ball tells me Barnsley will lose, Luton will draw and we’ll go up as League One champions on the final day.

Well, that was my prediction on Saturday afternoon following the Sunderland result. I’d had a few beers!

I am hopeful, not expecting. You can't beat Pompey for excitement, it’s always on the edge, one way or another.

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Firstly we have to beat Peterborough tonight – and they need to get something from the game, which suits us.

They have to win, which means we can get them on the counter-attack, as we’ve been doing to teams all season. Having said that, I still think we are a better side than them.

We’ve had our blip, such as dropping points against Southend and missing a penalty against Barnsley, but during that period I don’t think we missed Ben Thompson as much as people said.

At the same time, Oli Hawkins was out injured – and he suits Jackett’s style of football more than anything.

Besides, Ben Close has come in and been a more than able replacement for Thompson in midfield.

I didn’t really used to like Hawkins, but he has grown on me this season. He does a lot of work for the team, yet doesn’t receive the plaudits he deserves, especially having come out of non-league football.

I would bring him back into the team tonight for James Vaughan, while Ronan Curtis should keep his spot.

We brought him from a not-very-good league and he has played an awful lot of football, I think he is probably shattered. It’s a step up, but his ability is there.

When losing, people find scapegoats. It has been harsh some going on about Jamal Lowe and Curtis at times, wingers have always been an enigmatic breed, two games brilliant, three games not so good.

Curtis scares people, he goes at people, not many players take people on these days.

 

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray, Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown, Naylor, Close, Lowe, Pitman, Curtis, Hawkins.