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Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game


Portsmouth Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 26/08/2001

THE MARINERS travel to the furthest away ground in the football calendar on Bank Holiday Monday, with their unbeaten record still intact and hopes relatively high - the forecast is for a scorcher!

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

The Manager

Graham Rix

The former Arsenal midfielder was appointed by Portsmouth owner Milan Mandaric just six months ago, expecting the ex-Chelsea coach to comfortably guide Portsmouth to a solid mid-table finish, where they had been lingering most of the season.

Before Rix, Tony Pulis and Steve Claridge had both tried and failed to produce the kind of form that was needed for Pompey to get anywhere near the play offs, and so they were left in mid table obscurity. When Rix took over, there was a certain degree of optimism around Fratton Park that he could be the man to at last bring Pompey some much needed pride and passion, something that Rix himself is renowned for in the football world.

Then everything went horribly wrong, as Portsmouth went nine games without a win, getting just four points and plummeting from 15th to 22nd place in the table. Thankfully after a last day win at home to Barnsley, Portsmouth stayed up with Huddersfield going down and manager Rix will surely want to a fresh start from his players hopefully bringing a more peaceful season.

Certainly Rix's footballing reputation as a great coach conjoined with Harry Redknapp's presence as "Director of Football" has seen Pompey make some shrewd signings that will surely see first division safety and a less nerve wracking season than the last one.

Star Player

Robert Prosinecki

Portsmouth not only shocked everyone in division one, but the whole footballing world when they secured the services of the Croatian midfielder on a 2 year contract. Prosinecki's football talent can be spotted by simply looking at who he's played for before!

The Croat has turned out for the likes of Red Star Belgrade, Real Madrid, Real Oviedo, Barcelona, Seville, Dynamo Zagreb and Standard Liege to name but a few. Now the Croatian captain has been captured by Rix, he hopes that his abundance of talent and ability to split open defences will be a telling factor in his side's bid for success this season.

Prosinecki opened his account for Pompey this weekend with a penalty against Stockport at Edgely Park, with Portsmouth fans hoping it will be the first of many.

Past Positions


2000/2001 Season20thDivision 1
1999/2000 Season18thDivision 1
1998/1999 Season19thDivision 1
1997/1998 Season20thDivision 1
1996/1997 Season7thDivision 1
1995/1996 Season21stDivision 1

Past Meetings

Recent games between Pompey and the Mariners have often ended in the Mariners favour. Last season a David Smith goal in the 80th minute gave Town a point in Alan Buckley's last ever game in charge of Town, with the game ending 1-1.

The season before that when the two sides met in September, Town came away victorious with a 2-1 victory in a game full of controversy. Firstly, Town took the lead after just nine minutes, with striker Lee Ashcroft sliding home. But then, after a foul by keeper Danny Coyne, the former Tranmere stopper was given his marching orders and a penalty was given. Rookie keeper Stevie Crousden was then giving the unenviable task of trying to stop Alan McLoughlin's 34 minute penalty, and despite not managing to get near the inch perfect spot kick, Crousden went on to make a string of fine saves.

Town held out until half time and just after the hour, Stacy Coldicott struck his first league goal for the Mariners after good work by Jack Lester. This meant Towns first away win of that season, a feat that was only to be reproduced twice.

Portsmouth Head-to-Head (73rd on The Opposition Ladder).

Hopes For This Season

After last seasons end-of-season collapse, many Pompey fans will be more than satisfied with mid table safety. The south coast club have no doubt got aspirations for the Premiership, but this might be a season to soon.

There is no denying that there is quality in their squad, but after the loss of Darren More to WBA, there is a big hole of fill at the back. If a good central defender is found then I fancy Portsmouth to flirt with the play offs, but surely the main aim this year is to get some consistency.

Milan Mandaric has already sacked 3 managers since he took over in 1998 and yet another axing will to the club more harm than good, that's for sure. The key for Portsmouth is to regularly score goals, which has been a problem over the years and they will be hoping that either Peter Crouch or Mark Burchill will get 20+ goals this season, in order to mount a serious play off challenge.


Robert ProsineckiFree
Peter Crouch£1.2M from QPR
Mark Burchill£650K from Celtic
Dave BeasantFree from Forest
Norman MapezaFree
Mark CaskeyFree from Celtic
Coutney PittFree from Chelsea
Neil BarrettFree from Chelsea
Alessandro ZamoeriniFree from Roma
Darren Moore£1M million to WBA (prop)
Adrian WhitbreadFree to Reading
Steve ClaridgeFree to Millwall

Visitors Injury List

Keeper Dave Beasant is struggling with a hand injury so if he fails to make it then veteran Alan Knight could deputise or Graham Rix could prefer youngster Chris Tardiff.

Pompey Squad: Dave Beasant, Alan Knight, Chris Tardiff, Scott Hiley, Lewis Buxton, Alessandro Zamperini, Kevin Harper, Neil Barrett, Gary O'Neil, Jamie Vincent, Robert Prosinecki, Peter Crouch, Lee Bradbury, Mark Burchill, Jason Crowe, Nigel Quashie, Courtney Pitt.

Prediction For Game

Well, I'm afraid I got the last prediction wrong for the last game, although I did guess that it would be a score draw, so I was almost there! Town will certainly find Portsmouth tougher than last season, but having a decent record down at Fratton Park, I fancy Town to grab a win. After all, Portsmouth won their last match which more than likely means they'll loose the next, so I'll got for a 2-1 win

Fishy prediction: 2-1 to the Mariners. Reader's POMs


Click on the link for directions to Fratton Park.

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