After last night’s disappointing defeat at Luton Town, some positives must be taken from Pompey’s second-half display.
As much as Pompey were poor in the first-half, Luton’s performance was arguably the best half of football that Pompey have come up against in their stint in the third-tier.
Many Luton fans on social media said that it was the best half their team has played for many years. Most sides in League One and perhaps some Championship sides would have been blown away by that performance.
The second-half is where the Pompey fans should take hope from last night’s performance, leading into another tough match against Doncaster Rovers. Here are five positives to take from the second period.
Firstly, the obvious place to start is the fine debut from Omar Bogle, which was capped with a goal. Bogle was instrumental in the first Pompey goal, with good hold-up play and quick feet in the area.
He occupied two physical centre-halves well, whilst also running the channels effectively, which is something the Blues have been lacking. Bogle appears to have the pace, presence and physicality we’ve been craving. Surely, he will get a start against Rovers on Saturday.
Moving on, Pompey took the game to the Hatters in the second-half, with some free-flowing passing football that was present on Saturday against QPR.
Dion Donohue added an extra pass in midfield that had been over-run in the first-period. It was encouraging to see the Blues dominate possession in the second-half, against a team that are so formidable at Kenilworth Road.
Another positive to take are the tactics Jackett used at half-time to give Pompey a foothold. Jackett showed faith in Bryn Morris (who had a tough first-half) by having a three in midfield to counter Luton’s diamond.
Morris nearly put the Blues in the lead with a powerful strike which was wonderfully saved by James Shea in the Luton net. It will be interesting to see what Jackett employs on Saturday, as Pompey looked a different side with three combative midfielders alongside each other.
Pompey’s wingers, Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis looked more influential in the second-half, much like we have seen for the majority of the season.
They both worked well with their respective full-back and were producing more quality deliveries into the box. It is crucial that Saturday Pompey get back to what has been successful and get the two dynamic wingers back to top-form.
Finally, some encouragement must be taken from Luton’s second-half display. The Hatters looked fragile defensively. If sides can put them under sustained periods of pressure, they may have success.
Before the game and after the first-half, it would have been hard to pinpoint where they could drop points. However, the second-half showed that they can be exploited and that they could potentially drop points and have a dip in form before the end of the season.
Photo: Jake Smith