Promising, but Pompey gave back initiative

Jed Wallace, Andy Barcham & Co celebrate. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jed Wallace, Andy Barcham & Co celebrate. Picture: Joe Pepler

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There was still the smattering of boos at the final whistle.

It seems you can’t escape those from some harsh judges these days at Fratton Park if the team don’t win.

Either that or some passing Celebrity Big Brother fans popped by to vent their feelings in the only way they know.

But most appreciated the team’s efforts, and will have seen Pompey make progress in recent weeks.

They are not giant leaps by any stretch of the imagination but they are steps in the right direction.

For some, the progress simply isn’t quick enough. They want some drastic action and a new manager.

Decent displays in each of their past three games have yielded just two points.

Frankly, Andy Awford’s men have deserved more for their endeavours.

The manager is convinced the results will improve if the performance levels can be maintained and increased.

Pompey should have had more than one goal to show for their first-half showing.

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Picture slideshow

Video: Andy Awford post match comments

Match highlights

Post-match verdict

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After a tepid first 25 minutes, they sprung to life, they got the one goal and it should have been more in a promising spell.

A touch more care and quality with the final pass on two separate occasions would have carved out golden goalscoring opportunities.

But it was probably the best they have played in several weeks with some fluency and attacking edge.

The worry though was the second-half performance and the lack of clear chances.

Most of what they did right in the first 45 minutes went missing after the interval – especially going forward.

Adam Webster’s header was the only real opportunity of note and the default setting appeared to be for players to hang on to what they had, rather than going for a second goal and giving themselves some extra breathing space.

In the final few minutes of a game, you can understand that philosophy. But not with almost the whole half to hold out.

It felt negative and handed the initiative back to the opposition.

Awford insisted he had told his men to keep doing what they had been doing at the break.

There was no change in approach from him.

But it takes that extra bit of bravery for players to keep doing that when you have not won since November.

The fact is we are all still waiting for that moment or match that we will look back on as the turning point of the season.

We’re all hoping it arrives before it’s too late.

– STEVE WILSON