Date: 14th August 2011 at 9:45am
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Pompey slumped to a 1-0 home defeat on the first Fratton game, league game anyway, of the new season…

Although, as he told The Pompey Site, Steve Cotterill thought we deserved more: ‘we deserved a point for our second half performance. They edged it in the first half and kept it well in the first 15 minutes of the second, but after that we were the dominant force.

‘The lads are pretty down in the dressing room, and I`m still trying to figure out how we didn’t get a point. But we have to carry on and keep plugging away, starting with Reading on Tuesday night. The more we play like we did in the second half, the more we’ll get good results.

‘We just need that clean sheet to come along and maybe another goal at home to come along to set us off.’

I have to say that I agree with Cotterill in as much as we deserved a point, a point apiece would have been a fair result from the game but if you do not take your chances, which we against failed to do, you will not get results!

We were guilty of too many missed chances when ‘genuine’ goalscoring chances presented themselves to us – Brighton’s goal was scrappy, and could have been avoided.

To be fair to Aaron Mokoena I felt for him as it was others around him that left him exposed and his good challenge should have cleared a goalscoring chance but without the defensive help needed – as others had pushed on, when in injury-time at the end of the half we should have been consolidating what we had – a soft goal cost us…

‘Blaming’ Liam Lawrence for his penalty miss was something he would not do though: ‘I’m not about to blame Liam for our result. There will be many games when Liam’s performances get us points.’

Whilst I am not going to blame Lawrence I would question if he were the right man to take the penalty in that instance?

My cousin made a very good point to me, which I totally agree with. Lawrence gets so ‘fired up’ he is not always the coolest of customers and someone calm and composed is surely what you need from a penalty taker in the dying seconds of the game?

The miss did not surprise either of us, as it was something that we ‘sensed’ would happen for those reasons mentioned above…

Cotterill cited PFC still being in a ‘period of transition’ as not helping us: ‘we’re still in a period of transition, really. It’s going to take time for us to get more players in and to get them bedded down.

‘There were times when we played well, but there were other times when we almost looked like a group of strangers. In comparison most of Brighton’s team have been together for a while.’

Sorry, but I have to say that I ‘disagree’ with Cotterill here… Did this squad not spend 2-weeks together in America?

There should be no reason for them to look like a ‘team of strangers’, was this not the point of the trip to the US of A – sorry, but this does not wash with me and not ‘knowing’ what they were meant to be doing is what it looked like from a number of players yesterday!

The 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation that Cotterill is obsessed with quite clearly does not work, it has struggled to work and I cannot see the benefits of this at home?

Away from home, sure, but its just not working for me…

Clearly the arrival of a few more players will help, although the idea of trying something different and moving away from the same old same old formation could make a difference – as could Ryan Williams, who I would start on Tuesday or at least give longer than 10-minutes. He is at least a genuine wide player with pace and trickery. His ‘cameo’ saw him offer more as a wide role in his short time on the pitch than we had seen in the 80 on either flank really.

Do not get me wrong I thought we played pretty well at times, and certainly deserved a point. I cannot say I came away too disappointed in as much as I thought the football was ‘dross’ as it had been a number of times at Fratton last season. I was just frustrated that we did not take the chances once again.

The thing that really ruined the game though?

The ref, how bad was he!

Hey ho, bring on The Royals – another tough game against Reading awaits us on Tuesday but lets come back strong eh…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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