Fogden makes pitch for safety

Wes Fogden Picture: Joe Pepler
Wes Fogden Picture: Joe Pepler

Wes Fogden pinpointed Fratton Park’s surface as a key factor in Pompey’s drive towards League Two safety.

The midfielder believes improving the pitch at the Blues’ home will have a major impact on their campaign finale.

The 25-year-old reckons the performance at league leaders Chesterfield on Monday night showed the kind of cohesive football his team can produce.

Pompey’s display at the Spireites’ new Proact Stadium home came on a surface which has stood up well to the heavy rainfall this winter.

It’s been a different story at Fratton Park, though, with ground staff facing a huge test to make the pitch playable.

Fogden believes that has meant passing football has been at a premium for the Blues.

He said: ‘The pitches haven’t helped with wanting to play football.

‘Coming from Bournemouth, they were known for keeping it on the deck.

‘It’s been a bit of an adjustment, really, to the pitches and how we’ve been playing.

‘But, on a decent surface on Monday, it showed we can play football. Hopefully, we can continue to do that.

‘Hopefully, we can get our pitch right and that will help us.

‘Hopefully, the rain will be laying off as we go further into March and the pitch will start firming up a bit.

‘Down one side of Fratton, it’s very difficult to play at the moment.

‘But once the pitches are okay we can play football.

‘I guess, when the pitches aren’t great, we have to show we can battle it out.’

Fogden has little doubt the conditions he’s faced have had an impact on his own game since arriving in January.

But he revelled in a central-midfield role at Chesterfield, producing a man-of-the-match display.

Fogden believes a greater composure from his side reaped dividends and that has to be part of the blueprint moving forwards.

He said: ‘The football can be a bit direct at times.

‘At Exeter it was just running because the midfield was being missed out.

‘But chances are coming a bit more for me now.

‘Playing in behind on awful pitches isn’t how I want to play. So chances have been slightly limited.

‘On Monday, we were patient in our defensive play and let them pass side-to-side.

‘We were pretty comfortable.

‘I think we need a little bit more composure at times.

‘But when we showed that and got the first and second pass in, we showed what we are capable of doing.

‘Once we got the ball back it was free play because they (Chesterfield) were spread so much.

‘We were able to play how we wanted because there were spaces.

‘That composure on the first and second pass was crucial for us.

‘I think we showed that we can open teams up.’