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Portsmouth Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 28/12/2001

A STORM has been brewing at Blundell Park for quite some time. Today it happened. Lennie Lawrence and John Cockerill have left the club, and Paul Groves and Graham Rodger have taken their place.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Portsmouth (h)

It's been quite a day in Town's history. But meanwhile, the Mariners have a very important football match to play, and everyone must get behind the team to ensure three eagerly awaited points.

The Story So Far


After making an excellent start to the 2001/2002 campaign, Portsmouth have slipped up a little just lately, and their ambition to be promoted to the Premiership seems to be slipping away from them, loosing four of their last five. But having quality players at their disposal with the likes of Robert Prosinecki, Peter Crouch and Nigel Quashie in their ranks, they are still within a chance of a play off place. Indeed they are, just seven points of a play off berth, but are just inside the bottom half of the table in 13th place. But if Pompey finish here at the end of the season, then pressure will mount on boss Graham Rix, whom has had bags of money to make Portsmouth a real threat in this league, especially with director of football Harry Redknapp waiting in the wings.him!

Town's season has been a disaster, and they now find themselves under new management. We know what has gone on before December 28th, but what is important is what happens NOW. Everyone connected with the club must get behind Paul Groves and the players. Whether we believe that we can stay up or not, we have got to give it a go. We may all have bitter feelings about todays goings on or what has gone before, but it is irrelevant. In order for the players to be focused on the task ahead, the fans must be under no illusions, and must be focused to. So, if you can, get down to Blundell Park tomorrow and get behind the team!

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Town Team News

  • As normal, Town have a horrendous injury list. Alan Pouton, Steve Livingstone, John Mcdermott, Stuart Campbell and Jonathan Rowan are all certain to miss out with long term injuries.
  • Paul Raven could be in line for a recall, with his height and presence proving a vital factor in contesting with tall striker Peter Crouch at the expense of young Simon Ford.
  • Michael Jeffrey and Stacy Coldicott are expected to return to the side, but what team Paul Groves fields is anybody's guess.
  • It is likely that a 4-4-2 system will be used, with David Smith possibly in line for only his second start of the season.

  • Pompey Team News

  • There is a doubt over striker Stuart Lovell who picked up a dead leg against Gillingham on Boxing day. If he fails to make it, Rowan Vine will deputise.
  • Elsewhere, former Chelsea player Neil Barrett serves a one match ban, so Gary O'Neill will take his place in the midfield.
  • Jason Crowe keeps his place at right wing back instead of Kevin Harper, while another ex Chelsea player, this one Courtney Pitt, could be recalled to the starting eleven.
  • Elsewhere, strikers Mark Burchill and Lee Bradbury are definitely out with long term injuries.

  • Expected Line Ups

    Danny Coyne
    Alan Neilsen
    Tony Gallimore
    Paul Groves
    Paul Raven
    Danny Butterfield
    Ben Chapman
    Stacy Coldicott
    Menno Willems
    Phil Jevons
    Michael Jeffrey
    Scott Hiley
    Carl Tiler
    Livoy Primus
    Jason Crowe
    Gary O'Neill
    Robert Prosinecki
    Nigel Quashie
    Courtney Pitt
    Peter Crouch
    Stuart Lovell
    Substitutes Substitutes
    Michael Boulding
    Wayne Burnett
    David Smith
    Simon Ford
    Steve Crousdon (GK)
    Jamie Vincent
    Lewis Buxton
    Kevin Harper
    Rowan Vine
    Tardif (GK)

    Last Time Out

    Town visited Portsmouth at Fratton Park right back in August when Town went down, loosing 4-2. Town were never in the lead, but did have Pompey pegged back to 1-1 and 2-2, before the sending off of Menno Willems meant Town conceded 2 goals in the last ten minutes. Town scorers that day were Michael Jeffrey and Danny Butterfield, while Mark Burchill and Peter Crouch got the goals for Portsmouth. :

    Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Groves, Beharall, Pouton, Campbell, Willems, Butterfield, Jevons, Rowan.
    Subs: Jeffrey, Burnett, Allen, Ford, Ermes.  Report

    Pompey Head-to-Head (75th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    Well, considering the circumstances, who knows what the score will be. But I have faith in Paul Groves and I am confident he will motivate the players to be up for this one. So, I will go for a 1-0 Town win.

    Prediction: 1-0 to the Mariners! Reader's POMs


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