Michael Doyle: Pompey back to high-tempo best
Pompey were in a rush to demolish Notts County.
And Michael Doyle is convinced that high-octane approach paved the way for the Blues to rediscover their form.
New Magpies boss Mark Cooper suffered a 4-0 defeat in his first match in charge as ruthless Pompey shone.
Kyle Bennett grabbed two, while Christian Burgess and substitute Marc McNulty increased the crushing scoreline late on.
The thumping result may have not been enough to lift Paul Cook’s men higher than sixth but it was a timely boost following the last two disappointing results.
And skipper Doyle credits the turnaround to the employment of the high-tempo game which had recently slipped.
He said: ‘The phrase the manager has used a few times this year is playing on the front foot.
‘That is what we did against Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United – and yesterday,
‘Even though it was a physical match against Notts County, we were playing on the front foot, our attacking players got in behind them, they didn’t play in front. That was the difference.
‘We also didn’t spend time worrying what was behind us, we tried to get out and press them and it worked.
‘Stanley Aborah, who plays in the centre of midfield, can hurt you if you sit off him and let him play but we mixed it up a bit. We put him off his game a bit.
‘I personally think we are a better side with a high tempo.
‘Sometimes you don’t win but when we were good at the start of the season everything was fast, we didn’t have to look, the pass was there and that is what it was again yesterday.
‘There was a rhythm about us, everybody played on the front foot and Kyle and Gary Roberts, Adam McGurk and Michael Smith were brilliant.
‘Sometimes you can play those balls without looking and there is no-one there and you look a bit of an idiot.
‘But yesterday they were getting on to them.
‘We have a young defence who have not had as many clean sheets as they deserved this year, so it is also pleasing for them to get one.
‘But our attacking players were brilliant and deserve all the plaudits.’
Pompey travel to AFC Wimbledon on Monday (12.45pm) seeking to make it a maximum-point haul during the Easter period.
Neil Ardley’s side lost 1-0 at Hartlepool yesterday, with ex-Pompey player Andy Barcham among the starting line-up.
Pompey are five points off an automatic promotion spot.
– NEIL ALLEN