Pompey head north aiming to avoid a Pool of disappointment
By Site reporter
Monday 11 Feb 2013 22:46:00
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Given that they've picked up three draws and no victories since the final third of October, it's remarkable that Pompey aren't bottom of League One already. But the basement dwelling is drawing ever nearer and will belong to the Blues on Tuesday night if they lose at Hartlepool.

 

This game was originally due to be played on the Saturday before Christmas, when Pompey were unbeaten in three after draws with Coventry, Tranmere and Preston.

Since then Guy Whittingham's team have played nine - and lost nine.

There were encouraging signs away to in-form Bournemouth on Saturday before a fairly-inevitable couple of goals from the Cherries in the second half killed off Pompey's hopes of avoiding equalling their worst-ever run - nine defeats in a sequence of 19 without a win.

So you can look at the clash with the Pool one of two ways - it's the best possible venue to end the losing run, or it's inevitable that the run will carry on and Pompey will be dumped on the bottom of the pile.

It'd be a hard-nosed fan that wouldn't feel any sympathy for Whittingham right now and he used the build-up to the Hartlepool trip to state that the people suffering at the moment - the fans - are the wrong people.

He told the Pompey website: 'The position that the club is in has got nothing to do with the fans. They come and support us – no matter where we are – week in, week out. They’ve been fantastic and it’s because of them that we keep going.

'It hurts to lose every week and it’s something we desperately want to avoid. “But it’s because of something that nobody at the club is at fault for. The people responsible are no longer at the club and aren’t suffering.

'The people that are suffering are the fans and the great staff that are here at the club. We’ve been trying to end this run for a long time and we know we’ll do it eventually. It’ll be a huge relief and a lift for everybody. It’s tough at the moment and it will be great to give the fans something to be cheerful about.'

Hartlepool are likely to keep faith with the same line-up that drew at Swindon on Saturday. Steve Howard and Antony Sweeney will miss out through injury.

Pompey are still without David Connolly because of a hamstring problem while youngster Frankie Sutherland has returned to QPR.

 

John Akinde and Patrick Agyemang, who both made their debuts at Bournemouth, should continue in attack.

Our prediction: Hartlepool 1 Pompey 2

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