Date: 17th October 2010 at 11:06am
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Pompey picked after the international break where they left off before it – keeping an unbeaten run going with a 3rd successive league win at home in the league as we extended the unbeaten run to 4 with a 3-2 win over Watford in a fantastically good, yet also bad game at times…

By that I mean it was an enjoyable game, very much so once again, although there were some periods of bad play – although that for me makes this level of football so much better and more enjoyable than the premier league.

Steve Cotterill paid tribute to Watford and could not let Jamie Ashdown’s saves, which were incredible, pass without a mention: ‘Watford are a good side and they started both halves brighter than us. You can see why they’ve had a good start to the season. They’re a younger team than us and are full of energy, and I thought somewhere along the line that would come into play.

‘Within the win I won’t forget Jamie Ashdown’s excellent saves, or our sloppy marking from the corner for their equaliser.

‘But there have been plenty of times when we have gone away from home and got nothing when we’ve deserved something, like at Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.’

He also had praise for the home support as he felt that without this we would not have got back into the game, let alone won it: ‘we showed good character to win. The players have a great spirit among them.

‘But you can’t crumble here because you’ve got 16,000 fans willing you on. You can’t fail these fans – and they’ve not failed us since I`ve been here.

‘They were magnificent. At 2-1 down they turned the volume up. Without them we might not have got back in the game.’

Hayden Mullins’ goal, meaning it was back-to-back goals at home, was a fantastic strike and now he is finally starting to score the goals that Cotterill feels he should be, as is Mikey Brown, who scored what proved to be the winner: ‘Hayden Mullins’ goal was fantastic. It was an unbelievable strike. When I arrived here in the summer I was amazed that Hayden had never scored for the club.

‘Browny used to be a goalscoring midfielder but had stopped scoring, which was something we spoke about when we were away in America during pre-season. His finish was outstanding too.’

The question on many peoples lips – in a positive way for a change – before the game was ‘where was John Utaka?’

Well this was also explained by Cotterill, who left him out as he had a slight hamstring tweak – to be honest I think that his reasoning makes sense and have to say that I applaud it, which is something that ‘perhaps’ others ‘could’ have done with him in the past perhaps?

Anyway, this was the explanation: ‘if I had pushed John he would have played. But I think he has turned a corner and if we had put a half-fit John Utaka out then maybe the fans who perhaps still think he doesn’t work hard enough at times could have thought he wasn’t bothered.

‘Then, all the good work John has done could have been undone, and I don’t want that to happen. I want him to have a love affair with the Portsmouth fans because they do like their flair, and he’s one of those.

‘What we have got John doing is to work harder back towards his own goal. He’s been terrific for us.’

Well, there is nothing more to say really apart from bring on the Millwall, right…

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