Date: 11th April 2009 at 11:20pm
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I came away from Fratton bitterly disappointed with the 2-2 draw with West Brom, to me it felt like a defeat, and to be honest I am still disappointed right now – I am not sure this will change until next weekend, even then I think we need a win for this – and that in theory should be even harder than it ‘should’ have been against West Brom!

Well, these are Paul Hart’s thoughts after the game, with some of my own too…

Hart on us not playing ‘particularly well’
‘I don’t think we played particularly well today, and I thought West Brom played with a freedom that their position allows them to while not trying to take anything away from them.’

With all due respect to West Brom, who do play some good football, they were made to look better than they actually are – we were the home side, surely as such we should have taken the game to them, not the other way round?

Hart on our ‘different qualities’
‘We showed different qualities, we had a lot of resilience when things weren’t going well and we knew we weren’t playing well but we stuck in there.’

Right, the managers job is to change things when they are not going well right?

It was clear to see this was the case so why was Hart not making any changes? He never looked like showing any signs of doing this either, other than the bringing on of Nadir Belhadj – even then should we not have gone with 2 up top at that point, but it was so predictable who this would be for…

Hart on Kaboul and Kranjcar’s goals
‘Younes Kaboul is now become a raiding full-back and it’s textbook – going past two or three men and then got in the box and a left-foot screamer – fantastic.

‘And the second one, the free-kick, it takes a lot of courage at that stage of the game to come up and take one and it was perfect.’

They were 2 fantastic goals, but other than those goals the criminal thing is we did not seriously threaten the West Brom goal again – we had chances, which we created, but none really went close and none really tested Scott Carson did they.

My own final thoughts
Maybe I am still bitterly disappointed by today’s showing so I should have maybe waited and gave it a little more thought? But some 6-hours or so after the game I am still thinking the same things, so cannot wait any longer…

Ok, a point puts us closer to safety, but 3pts would have put us even closer – this was a game we needed to win. I still think we will stay up, but if not this could be a game, like many others this season, but more so we look back to with regrets. The game was there for the taking if we showed more invention – I seem to be saying this a lot recently…

Had this been an away game I could have understood much more why we set-up as we did, and why we used the personnel we did – surely Angelos Basinas should have played some part in the game, well started the game? For all intent and purpose we played with 6 at the back, as Richard Hughes and Hayden Mullins were nowhere to be seen in the ‘midfield’ – they may as well as played as another pair of central defenders!

We seem to be showing a case of ‘history repeating itself’ as all players were said to be behind Tony Adams to start with, happy with his appointment and then after a few games when they did not like his methods or style they changed, this is just one game so it might be too early to say this but I worry it is happening again under Paul Hart? As the happy thoughts did not look so happy today with some clearly not amused with the tactics employed – and this ‘might’, if it carries on, force some towards the exit door that might not have been looking to go that way…

Yep, we need to ensure we stay in the premier league at the end of this season as going down would spell huge financial problems to us, and doing this however we can is something we must do – but we are playing a dangerous game with the way we are going about looking to get to safety. Hart could redeem himself next weekend, but I suspect it will be the same tactics, and just about the same players too that line-up against Bolton?

As I say, I still think we will stay up, but we are making it a hell of a lot tougher than I think we need to be as games coming up are, in theory, much harder than the ones we have just had – games that we surely should have looked for more ‘maximum returns’ to have been near on safe by now…


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