The ups and downs of following Pompey. The full range of emotions can be found in just one match, let alone a week, a month, a season, or even a decade.
2014 ended with a 1-1 draw away at Luton and a home draw against the Hatters saw out 2015.
December this year had started very well with a 1-0 FA Cup win over Accrington Stanley, followed by a 4-0 league win against Hartlepool United and a superb 2-1 win at Northampton, before a festive hangover was felt with the 3-2 defeat at Leyton Orient and a frustrating seventh home draw of the season against Luton Town.
Nevertheless, Cook’s Pompey are very much a different proposition to teams seen at Fratton in prior League Two seasons.
Now we see the Blues’ in 4th on 41 points after 23 matches, whereas at the end of 2014, 15th was the best on offer from a return of 28 points at the halfway stage. Further back, Pompey ended 2013 in 17th with 26 points.
A decade ago, Pompey were sat in 18th on 17 points in the Premier League, ending the season in 17th – four points clear of the drop sealed by the great escape victory at Wigan. One place difference – that’s all Pompey will need in 2016!
Statistics can mean everything and nothing of course, ultimately it’s the final league table that counts and whilst dropping points particularly at home have been a source of frustration for all, with just three defeats so far, Pompey remain in the running for a promotion place.
The big question of course is whether they have enough in them to make a top three place their own come May. Going up via the play-offs would be memorable, but as fans old enough to remember Leicester in the 90’s it can be a depressing place for losers.
Certainly the winter transfer window which opens on Saturday 2nd January and closes on Monday 1st February will be key for Pompey. As things stand, the futures of Matt Tubbs and Nigel Atangana appear to be in doubt in particular, with Pompey fans keen to keep Marc McNulty and Caolan Lavery on loan for the remainder of the season. A question mark exists too with Jayden Stockley with his loan expiring on Sunday 3rd January.
Tubbs is set to be available for selection for the forthcoming match with Crawley Town. It will be interesting to see if he makes the substitute bench possibly for a cameo appearance as he looks to get his season back up and running.
Whoever stays, arrives or leaves in January, Pompey will be sure to bring fans further highs and lows – all hoping for a big high come the last home match against Northampton on Saturday 7th May.
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[Photo: Official PFC]