It’s about time we had our first away win of the season, and that’s exactly what we’ll be looking for today at Fratton Park.
We hope that Joe Kinnear has a game plan to attack Portsmouth on the south coast this afternoon, because we are now back to 3rd bottom of the league, two points behind Sunderland, after their 4-0 home win against WBA yesterday.
West Brom remain bottom and Blackburn Rovers are just 3 points behind us, after a 3-0 defeat yesterday at Wigan Athletic, so we must start picking up points soon, and draws just will not do it.
We’ve proved that with 4 draws in a row and we’re 3rd bottom. Unbeaten in four and without a win in five, is where we are right now.
These things are exactly what we said last week before our very winnable home game against Stoke City, and when we were 2-0 up at the half we thought we were home and dry, but how wrong can you be?
From 2-0 up with just 30 minutes to play at home, we still managed to throw 2 points away, although we did wait until the 91st minute to let their rather soft equalizer in. And for the second home game running, it was a former Newcastle player who equalized – just to rub it in.
But we are starting to run out of decent excuses for why we remain near the bottom of the league, and one thing we have to do is to raise our sights and standards, and go into every game assuming we are good enough to win it.
There are five players who underwent fitness tests yesterday, and we still don’t know who was passed fit, but this is the team we would like to see against Portsmouth for the 1:30 pm KO:
Beye Coloccini Bassong Enrique
Gutierrez Butt Guthrie N’Zogbia Martisn Owen (c)
Subs: Harper Cacapa Taylor LuaLua Viduka Xisco Edgar
We are assuming that Ameobi is still not fit, and if he is, he’ll replace Xisco on the subs bench.
We have LuaLua in there, who was not there last week, and that’s because last week we had three back four players and 3 strikers on last week’s bench, and when Guthrie got inured and couldn’t continue in the second half, that probably cost us the win, and 2 vital points.
If either Guthrie or Butt fail their fitness tests look for 18 year-old Kazenga LuaLua to start in central midfield, or on the left wing with Charles N’Zogbia in central midfield.
If we are going to start to pick up points, our defense will have to start playing more consistently, and not let in soft goals, like the two we let in last week against a very mediocre Stoke City side.
With Michael Owen back, and with Martins and Viduka available, we should be able to score the goals, so that shouldn’t be a problem today. So a clean sheet from our defense would be very welcome, and would give us 3 away clean sheets in a row.
But we have to go all out for the win, because if we don’t get one, we’ll remain 3rd bottom of the league, and that’s not a good position to be in at this time of year, or at any time, come to think of it.
Howay The Lads!!