Expectation

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 09 November 2006
You often hear fans talking about upcoming games and hearing the phrase "so-and-so at home? Nailed on three points that is!" yet when it comes to the game itself, the result tends to go against them and the next thing you know you hear their own supporters booing their own team off the pitch.

During the past week or so I have heard many Pompey fans saying that they expect six points from our next two games at home to Fulham and Watford. I can understand why these games are being labelled as home wins with our good form at Fratton Park coupled with Fulham having a reputation for being bad on the road and Watford inevitably struggling at the bottom of the league.

But it's never that simple with Pompey is it?

When we have been favourites for a game in the past we seem to find some way of blowing it or making the game much harder than it should be. Remember Sheffield Wednesday at home during our promotion winning season? They turn up at Fratton bottom of the league, we're all expecting to hammer them and confirm our promotion to the top flight. They end up winning 2-1.

There have been plenty of similar cases since then. Home draws against Wolves in 2004 and Norwich in 2005 when everyone expected a win and even though we beat Sunderland in 2006 we almost screwed it up when they took the lead with 70-odd minutes gone.

All I'm saying is that just because now we're a good side in our own right, we shouldn't just turn up expecting to beat Fulham on Saturday and Watford the week after that. Fulham aren't even that bad a side away from home now, having only been beaten once and Watford are a strong, physical side, just like Bolton and many people expected us to turn them over but look what happened. These two games are not foregone conclusions by any stretch of the imagination.

I'm not saying we shouldn't be confident in our team. But once that confidence turns into expectation it can easily lead to disappointment, and constant disappointment can have bad results off the pitch. Look at Newcastle and Middlesbrough fans, two sets of fans recently notorious for booing their own team off the pitch because of their over-expectations of their side. We don't want to be like them do we?

So if we don't beat Fulham on Saturday, I don't want to hear boos coming from the stands. Our fans have a good reputation for applauding the team off the pitch even after a bad result. Hopefully higher expectations won't change that.

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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