Andy Munro talks about Blues’ midweek defeat on the South Coast.
If teams were liable to suffer illnesses then Blues would undoubtedly be offering from bi-polar disorder. A great win against Middlesbrough seemed to put them back on the road, then came a car crash a car crash against Pompey. To be frank, before the match the only thing I thought Pompey were better at than us was possibly gross financial mismanagement… I was sadly wrong on that score.
Blues always seem to have a habit of bucking the trend and this time it was the adage ’Ten men are more difficult to beat than eleven’. Mind you, some of the defending was criminally sloppy and in pushing forward to salvage something, we left the way to our goal as inviting and as easy to hit as a barn door – and unfortunately their attack wasn’t spearheaded by Cameron Jerome.
Although the ref did us no favours, our overall fragility was a concern and we’re now hanging onto our play-off place by the skin of our teeth. It was also a double blow that the player sent off was the in-form (and possibly the Player of the Year in waiting) David Murphy. Our lack of available natural-full backs is definitely a concern and is obviously making our wingers easier to stop with wide options limited. My view is that Hughton Jnr should be allowed the opportunity to show his paces or young Fraser Kerr be given a chance. Maybe the tiredness is also getting to the players given a long campaign, although they are still insisting that this is not the case because presumably that would be a passport to a place on the bench.
To lose heavily is a worrying, event even if in Neil Warnock terms it was quite close! On the subject of whingeing Warnock, I was a bit disappointed to see the classy Chris Hughton turn around and blame the ref. Over the 90 minutes we didn’t deserve anything from a team who are admirably fighting for their lives. It also shows that any Championship side can turn their opponents over if standards slip. Let’s hope normal service is resumed against Cardiff but it won’t be easy.