Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Saturday February 10 2007
First mention in this article must go to the fantastically loyal Blues who travelled all that way down south tonight. Outstanding support in this Murdoch dominated era that deserves the reward of an entertaining side that wins trophies.
Putting the incidents and decisions that didn't go for us at Portsmouth aside, our team with it's limited options showed greater fight tonight but ultimately was unable to get anything out of a game where we had allowed the opposition to take the early initiative sparked by Mendes' stunning strike. This left the team and it's increasingly fragile confidence with a mountain to climb.
The first half was immensely worrying for long periods as we struggled to compete. Again the system and shape looked confused and the team continued to bunch as they did against Blackburn and Reading.
However, as the game wore on Pompey's own lack of belief began to show and we began to boss the midfield. It was a tremendous relief to see the battling Corradi's header fly in but failure to defend adequately meant that we left the back door open for Pompey to take the three points. The combination of the costly errors we have accrued this season and failure to score goals mean we lie in 16th position with a minus 12 goal difference on merit.
Morale cannot be high in that City dressing room right now. Next weekend's difficult FA Cup encounter at Preston will give us all an opportunity to forget the Premiership and these three latest defeats for a while. I hope that the manager and his backroom team will be able to lift the players and give us something to raise our own flagging spirits.
The daunting visit to Arsenal starts a tough run in of twelve games which include fixtures against the current top four teams. In all seriousness, no matter how much anybody connected with the club bemoans bad luck and decisions not going for us tonight, we must now absolutely forget any ambitions we had for Europe.
The reality is that Stuart Pearce's team with it's lack of creative flair and lack of a settled playing system must scrap and battle tooth and nail to earn MCFC's Premiership safety.
We've got a fight on our hands.
Date:Saturday February 10 2007
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