Its always important not to be beaten on the opening day of the season, a point against Portsmouth is not disastrous or the end of the world, but what the result highlighted was once again our defensive frailties, 2-1 up at ninety two minutes and we blew the opportunity of taking all three points which we deserved.
We had the lions share of possession and more shots on target but the trend which has followed us over the last few years conceding late goals, struck again. There is no denying there was an element of luck about Pompey’s equalizer but in the dying embers of games,our concentration or fitness levels must drop dramatically, because it happens time, after time, after time, its frustrating and farcical. Professional footballers should know how to kill a game off,get the ball into the apposing half, get it into the corners, push out from the back, kick it into the stands or even into the river tees for that matter, anywhere.
It was good to see Emnes getting a goal and what a fine finish it was, touch, turn, finish. He has been challenged by Mogga to increase his goal output and he duly obliged against Portsmouth.He has to do that now on a regular basis over the season and demonstrate why the manager rewarded him and showed his faith in him, with a extended contract until 2015.
Delighted for Rhys Williams, he left his centarl defnsive role to play midfield and he shone and grabbed the second, with a cool composed finish. I heard the Aussie getting interviewed after the game and he was asked, ‘ are you dissapointed with a draw?’He replied ‘ Not really, thats now only one defeat in the last thirteen league games.’That is like me saying well I scored today I have now got 31, 30 from last season, last season is history, its gone.On the subject of Rhys its great to see he is on the verge of signing a new deal.
Before the game, I was shocked when I heard that Justin Hoyte was playing at left back, with young Joe Bennett playing in front,I despise left backs that don’t have a left foot, square pegs in round holes come to mind, how many times have I said that over the years watching Middlesbrough.
The biggest plaudits must go to the supporters 18,196 turned up in monsoon conditions.