Five games. Five wins. Five clean sheets, sums things up nicely really, although Dan Brett delves a little deeper with his latest thoughts – read on for more.
If you had given me those seven words after the 1-1 draw at home to Derby County, I’d have thought you to be the new Charlie Sheen – but with form finally hitting the gates of Fratton Park, reason to be optimistic has returned for Portsmouth fans’.
Tuesday night’s 2-0 win against Scunthorpe United saw Dave Kitson and Aaron Mokoena hit the back of the net, two players of unlikely scoring ability over the past few weeks; for very different reasons.
Captain Kitson raced through the Scunthorpe defence to send the hosts one up, before a shot destined for South Africa from Mokoena ricocheted off of the backside of an onrushing Scunthorpe defender, slotting the ball under his own goalkeeper.
Although for another win, there was still little to appease the boredom of some sections of the Fratton End, with some around me having conversations between themselves for the best part of the entire first half. However, in the stage of the season we are – with a squad barer than Danielle Lloyd’s chest in a room full of footballers – wins prioritise over attractive football.
The ongoing absence of Portsmouth talisman Liam Lawrence was another encouraging sight for Portsmouth fans’, albeit a strange one. The South Coast club have gone on to succeed in the majority of this run without the former-Sunderland man, a welcome feeling knowing that Lawrence can only improve our side on any given day.
The enforced inclusion of Ricardo Rocha has also been of great credit to Pompey’s late run, with the Portuguese defender an ever-present unit in the heart of the Blues’ defence. Rocha’s return may not have been manager Steve Cotterill’s first choice to replace a forever-out-of-form Sonko, but a change that will no doubt make the gaffer re-think Rocha’s inclusion from now on.
Saturday’s tie at home to Sheffield United has created a history-making scenario for Portsmouth ‘keeper Jamie Ashdown, who could go on to equal Pompey’s post-war clean sheet record of six games on the bounce, set by Peter Mellor.
The Portsmouth number one was an unlikely candidate to start in goal after the club cancelled his contract at the end of last season, but the Reading-born stopper has gone on to be a talisman at the back for the Blues, stopped in his tracks only by dodgy defences and the odd obligatory goalkeeping howler.
For me, although I loved the days of watching the likes of Lassana Diarra and Niko Kranjcar spray 40-yard passes around a vibrant attacking midfield quartet, I’ve come to realise the severity of life in the Championship; a place inhabited by two-footed lunges, hoof tactics and general lesser ability – but I love it.
At least, with the Championship anyone can win or lose, form isn’t a factor. One week you can go out and get rinsed 3-0, and the next turn over the top of the table side 4-1 in their own back yard. (That score was completely fabricated, honest).
This league, for me, is ten times what the Premier League is, and I don’t mind us being here for a long time.
Written by Dan Brett.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.