Rovers v Pompey

Gray

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Having missed out on the FA Cup drama I'm hoping to make it up to the wirral for this one. Hopefully the squad will have had chance to gel and train this week and we'll start to see an improvement. I can't remember the last time I saw us lose so looking forward to a positive result, you can all thank me later.

With a big storm due to hit the country on Friday and over the weekend there's a chance the game may fall foul to our awful pitch (which I've had to explain to all my colleagues in the midlands who watched the United game on telly).
 
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I can't remember the last time I saw us lose
Portsmouth have won eight in a row, so your long wait might be over soon. ;)

I think the forecast here is settled for the next few days, so the game should go ahead.

I thought there were signs of improvement with the new additions on Tuesday, before the second half collapse. Scoring the first goal is obviously going to be absolutely vital against such an in form team, and if (or when) we do concede I just hope we can show more resilience than in the last two games.

The lack of creativity in the side is glaring and I think we need to play Morris in an advanced role to give us at least some invention in the final third. I would go with a team something like this:

Davies
Wilson Woods Monthe Nelson Ridehalgh
Woodyard McCullough
Morris
Cook Vaughan

As Nelson is completely out of favour, we could use Caprice at right wing back as a last resort, in order to preserve the 532 and keep Morris in a midfield role. I think in the weeks ahead we should persevere with one formation for a few games, to aid the understanding in the team and help the new signings bed in.

Portsmouth have sold their allocation of 1,500, so it will be a decent gate.
 

Higgy

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Forecast is looking good for Saturday so game on I think.
532 would always be my preference and RLC's side looks well balanced with the best suited players in place for the wing back role, although MM needs to give Nelson a start to facilitate this - fingers crossed.
I felt the three that were up front Tues would be a bit blunt and just wonder whether we only need Cookie of those three? Maybe complimented alongside by Morris or CBT, with Gilmour replacing Morris in the advanced midfield role.

Might get a 1-1 draw to stop the rot and maybe garner some confidence.
 

ONIGP

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Sensible enough team selection, RLC, but I just wonder if we may get overrun in midfield. However, we do look a lot more stable with 3 central defenders. You can see why MM resorted to 1 up top. I think the option of 1 up front is off the table now since it would mean p*****g off 2 forwards who have been bought/loaned in to play. I do like CBT but am struggling to see how he fits in a starting XI, either, with 2 up front and a back 5. If he's fit, I'm sure he'll have some role to play. Unfortunately our need for a 5-4-2 formation reflects the fact that we are about 10% adrift of most of the L1 teams in terms of quality.
 
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ONIGP

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I think we are being a bit optimistic on here thinking things will turn round with Clarke back in the team, it may help monthe but we have bigger problems to worry about, dreading the atmosphere on sat. if Portsmouth take us to the cleaners
Feeling pretty much the same, KTF. I think I may be looking forward more to my curry and a few pints on Saturday night rather than the actual reason for my visit to the Wirral this weekend! I don't see how, but let's hope we can scrap something out of the game.
 

Higgy

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Sensible enough team selection, RLC, but I just wonder if we may get overrun in midfield. However, we do look a lot more stable with 3 central defenders. You can see why MM resorted to 1 up top. I think the option of 1 up front is off the table now since it would mean p*****g off 2 forwards who have been bought/loaned in to play. I do like CBT but am struggling to see how he fits in a starting XI, either, with 2 up front and a back 5. If he's fit, I'm sure he'll have some role to play. Unfortunately our need for a 5-4-2 formation reflects the fact that we are about 10% adrift of most of the L1 teams in terms of quality.
I like CBT too, but worry about him deserting any duty to assist our full back defensively.
If we play two up front he might be a good foil for Cookie rather than have other traditional centre forwards up there. As I always think the centre backs won't have too much trouble picking them up. It might be an option for Gilmour/Morris to play the odd ball into feet as a variance to the temptation of looking for Vaughn and Cookies head.
542 would be great if it was allowed. MM could try it and hope nobody notices.
 

Sparky

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I’m dreading this game after Tuesday night. The form of both sides couldnt be more extreme and as RLC says, the first goal is crucial as if we don’t get it, the worry is we’ll fold like a pack of cards and the fans will show frustration. Pompey will make plenty of noise but if we cut out silly mistakes at the back (Monthe take note!), we might be able to get something from the game.

Whilst we need wins desperately , a point wouldnt be a disaster if we could beat Bristol rovers next Tuesday. But with most rain due to come Sunday, that game could be in doubt.

really hope Micky doesn’t stick with the 3 up top as Vaughan and Ferrier were too wide and it didn’t work/
 

ONIGP

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I like CBT too, but worry about him deserting any duty to assist our full back defensively.
If we play two up front he might be a good foil for Cookie rather than have other traditional centre forwards up there. As I always think the centre backs won't have too much trouble picking them up. It might be an option for Gilmour/Morris to play the odd ball into feet as a variance to the temptation of looking for Vaughn and Cookies head.
542 would be great if it was allowed. MM could try it and hope nobody notices.
I think CBT needs to be played wide as a provider to the front 2 rather than as one of them. I agree about his defensive duties to an extent but, if you choose to play him, you select him for his attacking qualities and accept that he is not a player who can both terrorise defences and be tracking back all the time. We need to have faith in our full backs being able to do their own job to start with and I think we sometimes get a bit too carried away with multi-functional wingers. There are very few who have the stamina to be continually tracking back, while being in the position to offer explosive pace going forward.
 

ONIGP

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I’m dreading this game after Tuesday night. The form of both sides couldnt be more extreme and as RLC says, the first goal is crucial as if we don’t get it, the worry is we’ll fold like a pack of cards and the fans will show frustration. Pompey will make plenty of noise but if we cut out silly mistakes at the back (Monthe take note!), we might be able to get something from the game.

Whilst we need wins desperately , a point wouldnt be a disaster if we could beat Bristol rovers next Tuesday. But with most rain due to come Sunday, that game could be in doubt.

really hope Micky doesn’t stick with the 3 up top as Vaughan and Ferrier were too wide and it didn’t work/
If we are losing after a poor performance I might be tempted to leave on the 90 minute mark because I can imagine what may come next and don't really want to be part of it (90 minutes of total negativity from the bloke on the row behind me is enough anyway!). Yes, I'd be gutted but any negative crowd reaction just seems to reinforce a vicious circle/downward spiral. That said, football is a passionate game and we all get emotional, so I wouldn't dream of suggesting how anybody else should react. Hopefully we get that first goal and take a draw at least. You say a point wouldn't be a disaster but I think it would be a fantastic result in the circumstances.

Absolutely agree with not choosing 3 up top. Okay MM tried it, which is fair enough, but I'd be amazed if he doesn't realise that more service into a 2 should work better. Good point about Vaughan and Ferrier and it resulted in them both being too far away from Cook's knock downs. Cook needs to play with the one of the pair who can best read where the ball is going to fall.
 
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aldo
well i for one is glad im doing a wedding on saturday so don,t have to wittness a murder . just hope they show up and at least score
 
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years ago I would have kicked the (dog,cat, wife) only joking after a bad result now I shrug my shoulders and think there are lots worse in the world at present, I,ve got to the stage were I can,t second guess the team or even get excited, 5/4/2 or 3/5/2/ or 4/4/2/ is irrelevant at the minute as I,m not sure mellon/Jackson/the players know what,s going on 1 week from another, sorry to be downcast but just can,t get positive
 

ONIGP

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years ago I would have kicked the (dog,cat, wife) only joking after a bad result now I shrug my shoulders and think there are lots worse in the world at present, I,ve got to the stage were I can,t second guess the team or even get excited, 5/4/2 or 3/5/2/ or 4/4/2/ is irrelevant at the minute as I,m not sure mellon/Jackson/the players know what,s going on 1 week from another, sorry to be downcast but just can,t get positive
Bloody hell, keep the faith, buck up or you'll have to change your user name! ;)
 
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I think CBT needs to be played wide as a provider to the front 2 rather than as one of them. I agree about his defensive duties to an extent but, if you choose to play him, you select him for his attacking qualities and accept that he is not a player who can both terrorise defences and be tracking back all the time. We need to have faith in our full backs being able to do their own job to start with and I think we sometimes get a bit too carried away with multi-functional wingers. There are very few who have the stamina to be continually tracking back, while being in the position to offer explosive pace going forward.
CBT is really the only player we have who has pace and the ability to beat players and I think we have missed him as an option in recent matches.
 
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If we are losing after a poor performance I might be tempted to leave on the 90 minute mark because I can imagine what may come next and don't really want to be part of it (90 minutes of total negativity from the bloke on the row behind me is enough anyway!). Yes, I'd be gutted but any negative crowd reaction just seems to reinforce a vicious circle/downward spiral. That said, football is a passionate game and we all get emotional, so I wouldn't dream of suggesting how anybody else should react. Hopefully we get that first goal and take a draw at least. You say a point wouldn't be a disaster but I think it would be a fantastic result in the circumstances.

Absolutely agree with not choosing 3 up top. Okay MM tried it, which is fair enough, but I'd be amazed if he doesn't realise that more service into a 2 should work better. Good point about Vaughan and Ferrier and it resulted in them both being too far away from Cook's knock downs. Cook needs to play with the one of the pair who can best read where the ball is going to fall.
I agree completely with this. There is no point in directing our play towards Cook as a target man if his strike partners are too far away to benefit from any knock-downs. That was the case too often on Tuesday night.

I am not fussed about Ferrier and I would like to see how Cook and Vaughan get on as a genuine strike partnership. I thought Vaughan looked quite sharp in the first half on Tuesday.
 
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Bloody hell, keep the faith, buck up or you'll have to change your user name! ;)
I can understand despondency with current performances, but would a season in League Two next year really be such a catastrophe ? We will still be in a far stronger position than this time five years ago, and playing at a reasonable level alongside a number of clubs of similar size to us (Grimsby, Port Vale, Oldham). The club will be far less stretched and we might actually start winning a few games again.

In the long term we should of course aim to re-establish ourselves as a League One club, but in the short term a period of rebuilding as a Football League club - on and off the pitch - is not a disaster.
 

bigmart

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years ago I would have kicked the (dog,cat, wife) only joking after a bad result now I shrug my shoulders and think there are lots worse in the world at present, I,ve got to the stage were I can,t second guess the team or even get excited, 5/4/2 or 3/5/2/ or 4/4/2/ is irrelevant at the minute as I,m not sure mellon/Jackson/the players know what,s going on 1 week from another, sorry to be downcast but just can,t get positive
Tend to agree with this, it's disappointing but I can only see an away win 3 0
 

Boz

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I share the concerns of others on this thread. While it’s highly likely that Rovers will lose again, the side needs to produce more of a battling performance and not let heads drop when we fall behind, as a lack of fight amongst the players will potentially lead to a disconnect with some of the supporters.

In terms of team selection 2 up front and rest Ferrier. Worth playing one of Danns/Perkins as the midfield battler and McCulloch in front of the back four.
 
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Just out of interest, last season with fifteen games remaining Wimbledon were bottom of League One and ten points from safety. They stayed up.

I am not suggesting we are going to survive, but that statistic does at least demonstrate that it is possible.
 

Sparky

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Pompey if they win will equal a 1920 club record 9 consecutive wins.
 

Ian

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The signs aren’t good for us are they.
 
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