Date: 24th October 2008 at 8:37am
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Harry Redknapp was left bitterly disappointed and ‘frustrated’ at the amount of diving and playacting that the Braga players were doing during our defeat in Portugal last night: ‘I got frustrated with the whole game to be honest.

‘Right from the start I thought the referee had no idea whatsoever.

‘It’s frightening, they were diving all over the place and nearly every decision seemed to be a booking.’

He also thought that Slovenian ref Darko Ceferin was poor on the night and fell for these antics – but did also give some credit where due to Braga, who did deserve to win: ‘a few weeks ago we had a great Turkish referee in Guimaraes near here and it was a good game. This time I thought it was very poor.

‘They played well and deserved to win the game but some of the things they were doing were not right.

‘It doesn’t happen in our game in England.

‘Where is the referee from? Slovenia? I’m sure they have a big league there and plenty of top matches.’

Whilst I agree that the ref was poor and he fell for these antics as well as gave most against us, the playacting was terrible and this did not help the game I do not agree that this does not happen in England, as diving and playacting does – just nowhere near to the extent we saw from the Braga players…

I also do not like the sarcastic jibes towards the ref – ok, maybe Slovenia might not be the hotbed of football but just as I said to my cousin the other night when a commentator mocked officials from another country in another European game I watched, just because they might not have as many ‘top class games’ it does not mean that they have any less right to ref on the big stage – that said if they cannot see what is going on and are taken in by this sort of thing then they do themselves no favours at all!

All in all though we did not play well, and nothing can disguise that fact. Redknapp knows it, I know and you know it – even so, had we not had what seemed a good goal ruled out it might have changed things? Who knows: ‘we didn’t pass the ball well and never got going. Our final ball was poor, although I thought we had a perfectly good goal disallowed. At 2-1 it could still have changed the game but I don’t know why it was disallowed after seeing it again.

‘We missed Glen Johnson who has a pelvic injury and Lassana Diarra who has a bad knee. We never looked at our best.

‘But we are still in with a chance of qualifying for the next round. We’ve got two big home games in the group, one against AC Milan, and there’s still all to play for.’

We deserved to lose, the opening goal was fantastic – a fine free kick from all of 25-30-yards. We did not play well, but even so I think that 3-0 was a little harsh on us.

There are still 3 games to play, if we win 2 and draw the other, maybe even win 2 and lose 1 we ‘could’ very well still get through – even if we do not manage this at the end of the day at least we have had this European adventure, and for that we must be grateful.

I hope that it carries on – a lot will depend on league form between now and Milan, if this is good then he will go all out for that game I reckon, if it is poor he might just about throw in the towel for this season – but if the European adventure does end in the group stages I am content with our lot, we have had something else I did not think I would see Pompey get, and we will also learn from this and take this forward to the future and all being well other European campaigns, but there might not be others so lets carry on enjoying this one!

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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