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#886021
After an excellent start to the season - four wins and a draw from the first five games - with three of those games being away, Pompey now have a run of games during September that presents them with a real chance to put a marker down after two months.

The games in September are:

Plymouth (h)
Shrewsbury (h)
Peterborough (a)
Wycombe (h)
Rochdale (a)

Plymouth is normally a tough game but they have started poorly and don't seem to have strengthened this off-season. Bradley has left at CB and Plymouth are coming off a whooping at home by Peterborough 1-5. Plymouth are also playing Millwall away in the cup on Wednesday and are facing a long coach trip to and from Plymouth on Tuesday and Thursday before turning around and driving back up to Hampshire on Friday. Adams has confirmed that they are not staying over after the Millwall game (which might have been sensible albeit expensive). Plymouth are currently bottom of the league and with a tired squad you'd fancy Pompey to win next week at home.

Shrewsbury have gone through a lot of changes to their squad over the off-season and they have lost some good players to other teams. After five games the changes are not working out too well for them as they sit second from bottom (on goal difference from Plymouth) with only 2 pts. I think this is a tougher game than it looks on paper for Pompey but confidence should be high in the squad and Pompey are at home. Shrewsbury play Bristol Rovers at home next Saturday so it will be interesting to see how they go in that game,

Pompey then have a real test when they travel of Peterborough. Unbeaten, five wins from five, scoring goals for fun right now (top goal scorers with 15) and clearly setting the early pace in League One.

Pompey then return home to play Wycombe who have one win, two draws and two losses from their opening five. They have only scored four goals (conceding 7) so far so the early signs are that Wycombe are not likely to be tearing trees up in League One this year (Pompey have 9 goals for and 3 against btw and are equal 6th top scorers in the early stages and have the equal 2nd lowest goals conceded). A tight game could be in the offing and Pompey may need to stay patient but you'd think that there is another 3 pts available from this home game.

Pompey then end the month with a game at Rochdale. The dale have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 3 of their opening five, scoring 6 goals but conceding 11. This is the second worst defensive record in the league. Perhaps revealing is that all four of Rochdale's pts have come on the road. They have lost all three home games in the league to date and have conceded four games to Peterborough and Barnsley (two top guns in the division). There are no easy games but at this early stage Rochdale away has to be a winnable game and not as tricky an away games as ones Pompey has had to face to kick off the season at Brizzle Rovers, Donny and Peterborough. Perhaps it is worth noting that Rochdale travel to Sunderland the week before facing Pompey and that will be a result worth keeping an eye on. You'd think Rochdale would consider Sunderland (a) and Pompey (h) as a tough stretch on early form. Rochdale narrowly avoided relegation last season and their manager Keith Hill is already turning on the fans and encouraging them to either back him and the team or for them to call the chairman and encourage him to sack him. No wonder their results are better on the road!!

Nothing is won on paper as we all know but earnt on the practice fields and on game days. Pompey have earnt themselves a great starting platform and if they can win their three home games during September and pick up a point or better from the two away games (10pts from 15) then Pompey will have started the first ten games with 22pts from a possible 30. I think this has to be the target now for the players from the next five. Give me 3 wins and a draw from the next five and we'll be in the top 5 in the division heading into October.

Time for Pompey to build from their great start. Nothing is won this early in the season but Pompey can put themselves in a great position once the first ten games have been played.
#886023
Yep....an interesting post, and I'm pleased that I'm not the only nutter already trying to work out how many points we'll have accumulated by the end of Sept / Oct / Nov etc etc!!

I reckon we'll need around 45 points by Christmas to be in with a real shout come next May.
#886024
Got to feel sorry for Shrewsbury. Against all expectations, they were easily the third best team in L1 last season, and unlucky to be beaten to automatic promotion by two big spending teams in Wigan & Blackburn. Inevitably, they then lost in the play-offs, and a mediocre Rotherham side got promoted. It really was their opportunity as their team (and management) were predictably gutted over the summer, and they are back struggling in L1. Sometimes football just isn't fair.

For all that, I will be very happy if Pompey beat them in a couple of weeks.
#886025
I gave up forecasting the outcome of any sporting event long ago. Most outcomes seem to be determined by who gets the most good or bad luck on the day. Thats why I don't bet on sport. I bet on other things though. Put £50 on a hung Parliament last year. It paid for my Pompey season ticket. :D :D :D
#886026
Great post by Jack Tinn with a well-thought out preview of these vital next few games. BUT football can make us all look foolish when it comes to predictions otherwise we would be winning the pools and beating the bookies. Who would have seen Brighton beating Man United 3-0 ?
Take the Plymouth game for instance - I have a feeling that all their troubles and bad results may well make them even more difficult opponents. It could be argued that this is a bad time to be playing Plymouth.
#886032
Sol on a "free" was also a bit of a steal. I say "free", although the wages were quite possibly higher than what MacGillivray commands! In fact one week's Sol wages were probably more than MacGillivray's for the whole season, 10+ years down the line!
Selsey Bill wrote:
Pompey Penguin wrote: Got to feel sorry for Shrewsbury
However, part of their loss was our gain in the form of Craig MacGillivray. The fact that we got him on a free has to be the crime of the century.
#886033
Albie McCann wrote:Yep....an interesting post, and I'm pleased that I'm not the only nutter already trying to work out how many points we'll have accumulated by the end of Sept / Oct / Nov etc etc!!

I reckon we'll need around 45 points by Christmas to be in with a real shout come next May.
I'll take that as a complement. :thumb :P

I am taking it one month at a time..... that being said I have a recurring long term target of getting to 25 wins asap and from 48 games this gives you 75pts and leaves 23 games to accumulate whatever is needed to finish as high as possible.
#886034
RubiconCSL wrote:Sol on a "free" was also a bit of a steal. I say "free", although the wages were quite possibly higher than what MacGillivray commands! In fact one week's Sol wages were probably more than MacGillivray's for the whole season, 10+ years down the line!
Selsey Bill wrote:
Pompey Penguin wrote: Got to feel sorry for Shrewsbury
However, part of their loss was our gain in the form of Craig MacGillivray. The fact that we got him on a free has to be the crime of the century.
Remember he told Wenger he was joining a club who wasn't on the English mainland so Wenger presumed he meant outside the Premiership and let him leave on a free. :rofl
#886047
Jack_Tinn wrote:Nothing is won on paper as we all know but earnt on the practice fields and on game days. Pompey have earnt themselves a great starting platform and if they can win their three home games during September and pick up a point or better from the two away games (10pts from 15) then Pompey will have started the first ten games with 22pts from a possible 30. I think this has to be the target now for the players from the next five. Give me 3 wins and a draw from the next five and we'll be in the top 5 in the division heading into October.

Time for Pompey to build from their great start. Nothing is won this early in the season but Pompey can put themselves in a great position once the first ten games have been played.
For comparison, last season it took ten games to get to 14 points by beating Bristol Rovers at Fratton.

JT's target of 23 points took 17 games to achieve by winning away at Blackpool. To get there after ten games would be an excellent start.
#886061
Jack_Tinn wrote: I am taking it one month at a time..... that being said I have a recurring long term target of getting to 25 wins asap and from 48 games this gives you 75pts and leaves 23 games to accumulate whatever is needed to finish as high as possible.
I would think if we played 48 games to everyone else's 46, there might be complaints at the end of the season...even the FL aren't that inaccurate :-)
#886395
So September's games have come and gone and how did Pompey get on with that great opportunity I was referring to at the end of August. Well my target was 10 pts and they managed 11 ........and are now top of the league.

I thought they would pick up 7 pts at home and 3pts away but in fact the split was 5 at home and 6 away. This bodes well ....considering that Pompey have the majority of their games away from home in October and you'd think Pompey will be a problem all season for team visiting FP with Lowe, Pittman, Curtis, Hawkins and Mason all pushing to get in and stay in the first team.

Plymouth (h) 3pts
Shrewsbury (h) 1pts
Peterborough (a) 3pts
Wycombe (h) 1pts
Rochdale (a) 3pts

A couple of things for Pompey to watch out for from this month's games - they did not manage to win two games back to back and they have not kept a clean sheet for four games (since Plymouth) conceding five over those four games. At least two of those goals were down to basic errors by Burgess and Pompey could look therefore to tighten up a little at the back and seek to keep a few more clean sheets to take the pressure off themselves.

On a plus note - Pompey have stayed relatively injury free after two months of the year and up and until the Wycombe game they had not been behind for a single minute of the season!! They fell behind to both Wycombe and Rochdale and still came away with four pts. (it could have been 6 but we know why that was don't we Mr Burgess.....) Good healthy signs that Pompey can keep calm and get themselves back into games but I'd like to see them to strive hard for the clean sheets ....starting at Coventry on Tuesday

Although it is still very early with only ten games played when I look at the table I can't help but see that Pompey have already played the teams in 2nd (peterborough) and 3rd (donny) away this season and have picked up 4 pts. A very good sign of the strength of this team this season

September was a great opportunity for Pompey to build on their great start - they have done this with 11 from 15 pts and were unbeaten all month (still unbeaten in the league all season!) and scored 11 and conceded 5. They also managed a 4-0 home win vs Gillingham in the EFL Trophy......

on to October!
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