Date: 10th May 2009 at 9:56am
Written by:

My first visit to Ewood will not linger long in the memory, at least I hope not – well, from a footballing point of view anyway, but what did Paul Hart make of this defeat? It is time to take a look at what he told sky sports with some of my thoughts too…

Hart on survival…again
‘I’ve been saying that forever’ – views when asked if Pompey need more points.

‘It’s in our hands and we want to make it mathematically safe as soon as possible.’

You know what, these are my thoughts on this, ‘if we had won the games we should have won over the past couple of months we would be safe by now’, and I too have been saying that forever!

Hart on ‘easing up’
‘Well I think if they did, and I’m not saying they are, today was a timely reminder in this division that you can’t take your foot off the pedal.’

There was not a lot of urgency from the bench either, something that has been lacking for a number of weeks after so much input from the technical area at first. To be fair to him there certainly did not seem the urgency that there should have been from the players – so maybe they had let up?

In all honesty I just feel that so many of them are now going through the motions, as the likelihood is that many of them are either leaving as they will be released, or they will be sold, or chose to be sold…

Hart on worst performance under him
‘It was by far the worst performance we’ve had since February. We’ve not looked anything like that, so that’s disappointing.

‘We made the substitutions and then the penalty was awarded straight away, so that knocked us back.

‘We could have actually come away with something, but we’ve been creating lots of chances in games recently, but not finishing them off.’

It is not a personal vendetta against Hart, who was brought in to do a job, and to a degree is doing it – he steadied a sinking ship, but to suggest ‘we’ve not looked anything like that’ over his tenure is wrong, as more often than not we have had the same set-up, outlook and approach to games, to be fair though the players really did let us, and him down yesterday, but this – for me – is for the reasons I mentioned above methinks…

Hart on 4-5-1
‘We’ve been playing this way for two-and-a-half months and it’s got us out of it.

‘We were, I think, just outside the relegation zone on goal difference and we’ve got to this position through sheer hard work and organisation, and everybody working together.

‘If you look at the goals we gave away, they never carved us open or moved us around. They weren’t goals like that.

‘I think it would be churlish of me to say really that I regret not doing it because we’ve been red hot really in the last couple of months.’

All I seem to do is go against Hart, again, I really do not like doing this, and it is not anything personal against him but we have not been ‘red hot’.

Yep, he steadied the ship, helped cut out all the shocking defending and helped us tossing away points were could have gained but were not, but the 4-5-1 should not have been the only plan in the arsenal – we could, and should, be easily safe by now and with a little more invention we would have. Yep, you have to set out ‘not to lose’, but you also have to set out with the intent of actually ‘wanting to win’ as well…

I maintain my thoughts that due to the fact that so many teams have been so poor this season this that is actually going to save us – the fact that after such a poor season, as little as a few weeks back a European finish still was actually attainable pays testament to this.

Rugs final thoughts
I, like many others, was bitterly disappointed with what was served up – once again. I thank Hart for steadying that ship but he must return to the youth side of things at the end of the season, and if Storrie and Gaydamak think otherwise then I guess that would prove we really are in as much trouble as we are ‘made out’ to be, as this is the cheapest, and easiest option… but an option that will not work, and will end in tears.

Losing is something I can accept, but lets at least lose with some dignity eh?

Square pegs in round holes, and stubbornness to change things is not the way forward, the only way with this approach is backwards…

You know what though, I still reckon that we may well, in fact probably will be confirmed as being safe before we even play Sunderland a week Monday, in which case lets end the home season on a high and go out with a bang, and even if that is a losing bang lets at least show some intent – the higher we finish as well the more money we get, should that not be incentive enough, or has the towel of defeat already been thrown in with what this summer will bring?


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