Play down Pompey

Last updated : 31 January 2004 By Dave Burgess
Quite simply, we just *have* to avoid defeat today at Fratton Park.

With the hosts being just 3 points ahead of us before kick-off, we can't afford to let a fellow relegation candidate get a six-point lead on us.

Okay our winless away record isn't one that will have them trembling, but our recent form, F.A cup aside, is good.

Portsmouth are on a slide, we have to help compound that slide by taking at least a point home with us.

With a more than likely home defeat looming against Arsenal next weekend, games in which we have a chance are running short.

With new boys Cort and Jones expected to start, there should be a freshness amongst the squad. If we can add that to the amazing determination shown against United and Liverpool we can do the business.

For Portsmouth's solid home record, there are chinks in their armour. Home defeats by Everton and Leicester prove that.

Over reliance on Berger and Sheringham as well may prove costly.

In the 0-0 home draw at the Molineux, when Pompey were riding high, it was just like another Division One fixture. Today will be more of the same as they are familiar foes. We have a tendency to win some and lose some at Fratton Park so it can be done.

As for what formation Jones plays we can't entirely say. I think if Cort does start it's asking a lot to play as a lone striker in his first game. If we go for 4-4-2 then there will be goals for both teams.

I think Paul Jones will replace Dracula Oakes in goal and he's bound to get some grief having come from the near neighbours. However, if Jones can leave his zimmer on the sidelines, then I'm sure the defence will play with more confidence and keep things tighter.

Expect the usual midfield of Rae, Ince, Kennedy and probably Cameron for Newts. Hopefully King Kenny will partner Cort up front rather than be wasted somewhere in the midfield.

At the back the usual suspects of Nayls, Butts, Jody and Sir Denis.

A draw would be massive. Take this into the Leeds away game and we could start to taste the dream of survival.

A defeat would be bad, but we have that character that all teams that have escaped before us, have so there would still be hope. 

16 games to go and all to play for.

Come on the Wolves!