Saints Need Skate Factor
One of the main reasons for our not already being in the play-offs is our inability to win at grounds where we have to roll up our sleeves and scrap.
Both at home and away we have lost games to teams that are struggling to avoid relegation. Teams who have come up against us determined primarily not to lose. Then when they have seen they have us worried they have taken the game away from us.
On Sunday we all watched spellbound as our biggest local rivals played the game of their season. Pompey had already played out of their skin to beat Birmingham in the previous round. Then they had shown grit and determination.
Sunday was different. Pompey were playing a team far superior to them in quality. They were even facing three former club members and the manager who had taken them to their FA Cup glories of the recent past.
Saints themselves had played them of the park for an hour at St Mary's only to suffer the heartbreak of ending up losers. The grit factor rearing it's ugly head as pompey ended up winning 4-1. A scoreline becoming all too familiar.
When the semi-final began I was watching as a neutral fully convinced that Spurs were about to do a number on our deadly rivals. To be honest part of me was actually looking forward to it as punishment for beating us.
By half-time my mood had changed. Forgotten were all of the poisoned barbs thrown our way by some Pompey fans as Saints looked like going under. The abuse that had flown our way was forgotten as the blues took the game to Spurs.
The first half went by and the second passed as well with the best chances falling to one Dindane. As time ran out Spurs pressed more and more but Pompey would just not concede. They looked to be out on their feet as full time arrived.
The spirit of Pompey rang out as the Chimes were sung and still the best chances were being wasted. Finally the goal came and the party began. Spurs increased the pressure and the defence stood firm casting all attacks aside.
The second goal brought the sight of Avram dancing on the sidelines as his team ended up victorious. The spirit of 2010 was still standing firm. The question now was how the hell did what had happened happen?
The answer lies in the way Pompey has refused to lie down and be beaten. As a club it has bean battered black and blue with wave after wave of bad incidents. The whole situation could have rendered the club extinct but it has and is still fighting for it's very existence.
The team has rallied round and shown that it cares. It has started playing with the defiance of the condemned. Even in some games where they have lost they have shown the character to continue the fight. It is now a team in every sense of the word and they play and fight as one. They refuse to accept defeat.
So now we return to the game tonight. Saints need to show some of the Skate's fight and determination. We have to roll up our sleeves and show Rovers that we are going to take the points home with us. The Skates have shown us how to fight and win so let us take a leaf out of their book and do the same.