Pompey out to banish ghost of Morecambe

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey skipper Michael Doyle Picture: Joe Pepler

POMPEY are determined to bury the ghost of their Morecambe heartache.

Skipper Michael Doyle promised the Blues are out to settle the score for the late, late agony served up at the Globe Arena in February.

Memories of keeper Barry Roche’s stoppage-time leveller in last season’s 1-1 draw will come to the surface again tonight.

Roche incredibly struck with a header late on to deal Paul Cook’s side a hammer blow in their bid for promotion.

The result came in a run of four games without a win for Pompey as their campaign lost impetus.

Doyle admitted he’d never been on the receiving end of such a left-field blow before.

And the 35-year-old is out to give his side’s fans something to smile about this time as they go in search of their first win of the campaign.

Doyle said: ‘There’s not really any edge to the game, but we still don’t want to be reminded of that goal!

‘Hopefully it’s the first and only time it happens to me in football.

‘It was going alright until then, with keepers not scoring, but it certainly was a blow for us last year.

‘In an ideal world we’d love to forget about it and move on, but I’m sure there’ll be a lot of talk about it in the build up to the game.

‘Hopefully, though, we can get one over them and put it right.’

The Morecambe meeting provides the Blues with their fourth opportunity of the season to pick up victory.

They take on a Shrimps side buoyed by successes over Blackpool (league) and Rotherham (cup) last week.

Doyle feels the new faces who’ve arrived at Pompey now have a good idea of what they will face this season, with their team once again favourites for the title.

He said: ‘I think after last year the lads are very aware.

‘And I think the lads who have come in, I think even after the first two games, they’re aware just how difficult it’s going to be week in, week out for us.

‘Every team raises their game, it’s just part in parcel of it. It’s the pressure of playing for Portsmouth, the club this size and the division we are in.

‘But we’ve a lot of pride as well.

‘We started last season like a house on fire and didn’t get promoted.

‘We’re aware the league is over 46 games but we find ourselves trying to stay positive and putting a positive spin on things just two games in.

‘It’s not like we’ve lost two games.

‘We’re trying to win games and we didn’t do that on Saturday.

‘But we’re trying to do it, we’re trying to be positive to win games, and we’ll get there eventually.

‘It’s still very early and we go to Morecambe with another good chance of getting a win.

‘That’s going to be a difficult game as well, though.’