Ok, we beat Forest 3-0…
All in all I do think that we deserved to win although by a clear three-goal margin, well I am not quite so sure but what the hell I will take it and bask in that glory!
One thing I do know it that Forest did not ‘dominant the game’ like Steve Cotterill claims that they did. Sure, they were probably on top for a period in the 2nd half but I would say this was as much down to us sitting way too deep and inviting too much pressure on us as anything.
Anyway, in what is ‘almost certainly’ co-caretaker manager Guy Whittingham’s last game in charge the former Pompey striker was happy to sign off with another win.
That made it 3/3 at Fratton under his co-guidance and making Fratton that Fortress that it once used to be, and we need it to be again, pleases him: ‘I remember the days when I was playing here and it was Fortress Fratton, so it’s nice to be able to get back to that – to win your home games and not concede.
‘That’s very important because it gives you a base to go on and play with a little bit more freedom away.
‘The Fratton end really do suck the ball into the net. It’s great to win in front of them.’
Not ‘having a go’ enough is something that a lot of us have been critical of the players for not doing – sometimes it comes off, sometimes it does not! For Erik Huseklepp he was one off those that it did come off for.
Praise was given to him, and this willingness to ‘have a pop’ by others as well, by Whittingham: ‘all week in training Erik’s been practising coming in off that left-hand side and cracking the ball into the far corner.
‘So it’s great to see someone doing that in training and taking it into a game and producing a goal like that. I’m really pleased for Erik because he’s a hard worker.
‘I enjoyed his second goal too because it was a scrappy one where he was in the right area and didn’t make the best connection but still put the ball in the back of the net.
‘It came off the back of a great shot by Hayden Mullins when the ball hit the woodwork. We keep saying to the lads that they need to keep taking shots, not to pass the buck to somebody else and to keep having a go.
‘Even when David Norris skied one nearly out of the ground in the first half, at least he was having a go, and that`s what we’ve encouraged them to do.’
When we missed two ‘clear cut’ chances early in the 2nd half I worried that we might end up paying for it!
Fortunately we did not and a fantastic save from Stephen Henderson, when the score was only 1-0, made sure we did not: ‘it was a great win, but I think the turning point was Stephen’s save. It would have been a lot harder for us if he hadn’t saved that shot.
‘We haven’t scored enough goals from set-pieces, so we’re delighted with Kits’ goal that came not long after the save. That gave us a real lift.
‘It was a dour first 45 minutes, but when that happens it’s vital that you keep a clean sheet. Thankfully we did that, and it set the platform for us to win the match. That’s very pleasing.’
If this game did not prove to be Whittingham’s, and Stuart Gray’s, last game in charge I would be very surprised to be honest…
Whittingham ‘appears’ to acknowledge as much with his final thoughts: ‘it’s pleasing that we’ve got some good results and climbed up the table and very much hope we’ve given the owners enough time to find the right person to take charge.’
Thanks for what you have done Guy, and of course Stuart, but now it is time to bring in a fulltime manager so lets get this done now – I still think that Whittingham has a lot to offer us, as could Gray, although Gray may well move on, and maybe go to Forest?
Whittingham on the other hand, assuming the new manager wants to keep him – and breaking up the coaching set-up here too much is not something I expect to happen – then he will remain a coach.
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Reflecting on Forest win
Ok, we beat Forest 3-0…