Northampton v Portsmouth (2nd December)

EricSabin

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As we’re both out of the cup we’ve rescheduled this for the 2nd. When they rescheduled it I feared a hammering, but after 3 good wins I’m viewing it as a free hit where we can just go at them.

We’re up to the heady heights of 13th, we’ve got players back and look much stronger for it. Expect us to have a go but get squeezed out 1-2, point would be a bonus.
 

Don Tonberry

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Funny you say that because a couple of weeks ago I was adamant we'd win this comfortably. But now, it seems like Northampton a level above the absolute dross of this league and we'll be without the spine of our team with Poole definitely out, Morrell suspended and Bishop almost certainly out.

Cobblers' win at Blackpool really raised an eyebrow with us given how emphatically they ended our unbeaten run but I think we'll approach this different and maybe try and turn it into a physical battle and take advantage of set-pieces.

EricSabin What are your team's main strengths and weaknesses?
 

LordJord

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Assumed we were getting own threat due to being part of the mid table massive for a week at least.

Complete agree Eric, see a narrow defeat but we have every chance of getting something out of the game. We are organised again, energy levels have improved and having some options back on the bench has just given us a massive lift.

Pompey are obviously a class side but as you say, feels like a bit of a free hit, one im looking forward to.
 

LordJord

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Funny you say that because a couple of weeks ago I was adamant we'd win this comfortably. But now, it seems like Northampton a level above the absolute dross of this league and we'll be without the spine of our team with Poole definitely out, Morrell suspended and Bishop almost certainly out.

Cobblers' win at Blackpool really raised an eyebrow with us given how emphatically they ended our unbeaten run but I think we'll approach this different and maybe try and turn it into a physical battle and take advantage of set-pieces.

EricSabin What are your team's main strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths at the moment I would say are we have quite a lot of mobility and energy in our midfield and front line. We are generally always in games (Derby away aside) and importantly we have a player in Sam Hoskins who knows where the goal is.

Weaknesses, we are still not particularly prolific and are heavily reliant on Hoskins in general for goals. Our first choice keeper is out injured and have a young loanee deputising who has been pretty shaky at times.
 

Claret Forever

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Form and team selection obviously means this is a good time for the replay to happen, but Portsmouth will still be comfortable favourites. No-one's expecting us to push up higher than mid table even with a good season, so I think with the two last wins under the belt the pressure is off, and there won't be too many complaints in the crowd if we lose, as long as it's not coupled with a poor performance.

We're still missing Guthrie at the back, so we'll be expecting to concede I'd have thought. I couldn't even tell you our strengths - we like to mix it up a bit, there's a lot of passes around the back, but most of the chances come from mixing it up into long balls. We're not quite the old Curle/Calderwood/Atkins/Boothroyd stereotype of Northampton as we don't have anyone who can win a header up front. Bowie and Hoskins win 0.7 and 0.9 headers a game, and Appere is on 0.5, to contract that Colby Bishop on your end who wins 5.3. So there can be some long balls that tend to be aimed at feet, and a lot of counterattacking via triangles or long balls aimed at feet.

On a good day we press quite well and play some triangles in the middle, on a bad say you'd probably say we lack creativity and are a bit wobbly at the back.
 

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Good chance to take a real look at Kusini Yengi, replacing Colby Bishop up front.

He started like a house on fire in August before getting injured. He's been back a few weeks now but hasn't had much game time due to Bishop's form. We desperately need him to recapture that early season form to alleviate the loss of Bishop.

This evening we should find out the results of Colby's ankle scan. Fearing a long lay off, because it's never good news is it.
 

Claret Forever

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Portsmouth comfortable a grade above us physically, but have some tricky attackers. I feel like every one of their corners going in, losing out in the tackle and losing out at the second ball.
 

LordJord

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Portsmouth look the best side i have seen this season. Physicality and great individual players.
 

EricSabin

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Portsmouth very good. As has been said they’ve got a good mix of skill and shithousery, best side I’ve seen this season. Having said that each goal was gift for them and you can’t do that against a side as good as them. We had a few good chances first half but couldn’t convert and Pompey take a deserved win. If you’d said 3 points off of Blackpool away and Pompey home I’d have been very happy so no drama really. Onwards and upwards and I expect Pompey to be championship next year.
 

K-Win

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Such a difference to previous seasons and proof of the value of building a squad as early as possible in the summer. We've had some good teams before but we've always dropped off dramatically once we have injuries to key players. This season we have players like Yengi, Saydee, Raggett, Sparkes, Swanson etc who can come in without the quality dropping.

Excellent win backed up by some great news that Bishop's injury isn't too bad and he is expected back before the end of the year.
 

Pompeyblueboy

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Such a difference to previous seasons and proof of the value of building a squad as early as possible in the summer. We've had some good teams before but we've always dropped off dramatically once we have injuries to key players. This season we have players like Yengi, Saydee, Raggett, Sparkes, Swanson etc who can come in without the quality dropping.

Excellent win backed up by some great news that Bishop's injury isn't too bad and he is expected back before the end of the year.
Don't start counting yer chickens yet
 

Don Tonberry

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Great performance from us yesterday, probably should have been more than three. I was surprised how poor Northampton were given they'd just beaten Blackpool but they really made it easy for us. That second goal was a thing of beauty, though. *chef's kiss*

It's all set up nicely for the top-of-the-table clash next Monday.
 

LordJord

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Yeah we were so open at times and out muscled quite often. Robertson in midfield for you looked absolutely class, can tell he will be playing above L1 very soon.

Work to be done in January but our season wont be defined by this game.
 

Pompeyblueboy

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Yeah we were so open at times and out muscled quite often. Robertson in midfield for you looked absolutely class, can tell he will be playing above L1 very soon.

Work to be done in January but our season wont be defined by this game.
No and nor will ours. Still early days
 

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