By Steve Farquhar
‘Pompey boss to make emergency calls’.
The headline I’ve been waiting to read, given extra significance since the long –term injury to James Dunne.
Whether the Blues breezed to a comfortable 5 – 0 victory at Aldershot last night or not, I’d have still felt we need to strengthen in the loan market, and quickly.
It just so happens that I stood on the terraces and watched Pompey slump to an embarrassing 1 – 0 defeat to the Conference side after being outplayed for most of the second half.
It concerns me, that prior to the two recent defeats (in front of the TV cameras which is always nice), Awford believed the squad was strong enough to handle such injuries.
Why was the search for loan recruits not ramped up the day we found out the extent of James Dunne’s injury?
With one spot seemingly up for grabs alongside Danny Hollands in the centre of the park, we have an adapting Nigel Atangana, Johnny Ertl who would struggle to get in most League Two sides (a good character though) and youngsters Ben Close and Nick Awford.
Following Atangana’s first half booking at the Recreation Ground and occasional wayward pass, I am sure that Awford would have looked to replace him around the hour mark had he felt somebody good enough was on the bench.
What concerned me most however was the fact it took 82 minutes, and for Aldershot to take the lead, for either of our strikers to make way (resulting in a double change).
With Craig Westcarr spending most of the game offside and Ryan Taylor struggling to hold the ball up, we struggled to gain any possession of note in the opposition half as the game went on.
In Awford’s words; ‘I’m as angry as I’ve ever been’.
Let’s hope he can channel that anger into positive energy and get Pompey playing with a higher tempo, quicker passing and pressing higher up the pitch, whilst not crumbling at the first sign of pressure.
For Awford’s sake, along with our ever loyal fans, Pompey have to turn it around, starting with a win at Fratton Park on Saturday.
And while you’re at it, a new central midfielder, right back and striker please.