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Portsmouth - View


Chris

Ahead of our clash against Portsmouth FC, we've decided to ask a series of questions to Pompy fan WhoIzzet. Notts have suffered a turbulent period recently and whilst Pompy reside in the relegation places, both will be striving for the full 3 points this Saturday. Notts have beaten Pompy on two occasions this season already, but with Bury away at MK Dons, Portsmouth fans will see this as a fantastic opportunity to make ground in their search for maintaining their League One status. Wholzzet takes time out to tell us here at prideofnottingham.co.uk.

Firstly, could you tell prideofnottingham.co.uk a little about yourself such as how long you've been a fan for?

I'm Jake, 32 years old from Horndean. I've supported Portsmouth for as long as I can remember, through the very-highs and very-lows. I'm also an admin on footballforums.net (Check us out!).

At the start of season things were looking quite positive for Portsmouth FC, with your league standings and attitude towards financial difficulties. How close is your club to resolving the issue regarding ownership and how did you feel at the start of the season?

The trust's bid to buy the club has gained strength beyond what anyone really anticipated, and that has been the major positive. It does seem that the fans now have a realistic chance of owning the club, but the likes of Chainrai seem to be doing what they can to derail our hopes. It's impossible to say how close we are to resolving our situation, because every time it looks like we're getting close, we hit another setback or two. At the start of the season I hoped that we could stay up, but my major concern was that we stabilised our finances.

Despite how the season has gone so far for your club, the fan base has shown amazing support. There doesn't seem much time for negativity, how do your fans stay so upbeat?

It's nice of you to say. I guess one important thing is that this has happened before. We've been on the brink so often that it doesn't tear us completely apart, but this will have to change soon as the Pompey support don't have unlimited patience. Attendances have understandably dwindled and until the ownership issue is resolved, there are some who won't return to Fratton Park.

Your 3 – 1 Win over Shrewsbury Town is probably the turning point of your season, the drop in points since is quite concerning. Would you say this is more a reflection on a loss of players, rather than the performances?

It's partly down to loss of players, but in truth our performances have been poor of late. There is enough ability in the squad so we shouldn't be performing so dreadfully in the league, but we are and this unfortunately has to be attributed to the manager. As much as Guy Whittingham is a popular figure in Portsmouth, he's not able to deal with the difficult situation as well as Michael Appleton could, and should perhaps step aside if results don't improve.

James Keene has returned on loan, how important is his return to the club?

He's a new attacking option, and with the departure of Izale McLeod it was important that we found someone to fill the gap. I couldn't possibly say if he will do well though. He didn't quite cut it for Pompey the first time around, but it sounds like he found his goal scoring feet in Sweden. I'll be interested to watch him play again and see how he's improved.

Do you expect any other additions to your squad?

I'm hoping there will be. A few players are due to leave the club on the 15th, so we will be chipping away at bare bones if we can't find any replacements. While the ownership issue is still up in the air, any deals will be very temporary, but it's important we don't just give up on this season while survival is still a possibility.

Who would you say are Portsmouth's danger men in our upcoming game and who has been your key player in recent performances?

Mustupha Dumbuya (leaving on the 15th) has become more and more of a menace down the wing in recent weeks and often seems to provide our most incisive threat going forward. Though his end product still leaves a lot to be desired, the Notts County defence will have to be aware of him. Paul Benson can also be a handful up front.

Which Notts County players do you feel your side should watch out for from a defensive point of view?

The trouble for Pompey fans is we're still getting used to having to stay up all night for a quick round up of the league highlights! I guess Yoann Arquin would be someone to watch out for considering he's County's top scorer, but in truth we are chaotic when it comes to set-pieces. If you have someone who can whip a dangerous ball in from a free-kick or corner, it's curtains for us.

How is Jon Harley getting on at Portsmouth?

I haven't been overly-impressed. We've been crying out for an attacking option down the wings, and while Dumbuya has stepped up his game in that department, Harley seems unable to offer the same kind of service. His defensive work is about average.

What game this season has been your favourite and why?

I guess beating Shrewsbury 3-1 did seem, as you say, like a turning point. It was a good feeling to see the team performing as a unit and getting the result without performing particularly well, and the match occurred just after the Supporters Trust was named the preferred bidder, so there was a renewed sense of optimism that day. But the highlights have been few and far between, and I doubt the club will be releasing an end of season DVD.

If you were a Notts County fan, how would you respond to the negativity which surrounds the club for very little reason(s), especially considering we're progressing nicely since our return from league two?

It's a strange one for sure. From what I know of the situation (which is very little, so excuse my ignorance), the chairman has made a statement asking the fans to stop moaning. I guess the craziness that goes on with Pompey means that I'm envious of anyone who has a stable football club to support. Whether promotion happens this year, next, in ten years - just enjoy the football, and the fact that the club is on the rise.

Where do you feel Portsmouth's final position will be at the end of the season?

We're quite doomed. Relegation beckons.

In summary, I should imagine Keith Curle will have this fixture down as three points for County, and he'd be absolutely right to. We are low on confidence, players and form, and in truth it would not be a surprised if we lost this by three or four. I hope the County fans enjoy their first visit to Fratton Park in a little while, bearing in mind that it is likely it will be the last for a while as well.

We would like to Thank WhoIzzet (Jake) for the time of answering questions and sharing his views.

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How refreshingly honest.Must say I feel for Pompey fans(and any fans in similar situation)No whinging,just accepting facts and getting on with supporting in a positive way.Good luck to you all.

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It doesn't seem aslong since we was playing Portsmouth in the Premiership, their fans was always very welcoming. They do sign for 90 minutes without failure and this says a lot, it's great to see fans who can take a view on things like this. Well Done Jake!

Excellent questions keep it up!

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Our two clubs couldnt have been furtner apart 5 years ago, we were struggling at the wrong end of league 2 while they were more than competetive in the premier league. Such a shame whats happened to Pompey, they're a magnifficent club. I hope they can sort themselves out, but come 3pm on Saturday I'll have no sympathy!

Great feature this, as Steve says above me, keep it up!

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