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Monday, May 23, 2011

QPR Report Interview: The Portsmouth Perspective

February 1, 2011

This week, Q&A with Vital Football Portsmouth www.portsmouth.vitalfootball.co.uk 's Rug. Many many thanks to Rug for agreeing to do this interview.

Q&A With Portsmouth Fan/Vital Football Portsmouth's Rug of VITAL POMPEY - www.portsmouth.vitalfootball.co.uk

Starting simply: How long have you supported Portsmouth? And how long have you been involved with the Vital Portsmouth Website?

Born and raised in Pompey so that answers the question – although I moved to Devon when I was a nipper so was not able to get to my first games in Pompey until I was about 18, some 13-years later I have been travelling regularly from my Devon base since.
I 'think' that it is about 5-years, but it is something like 4-years as the site editor.

(How do you get on with the other Portsmouth fan sites: Are there any serious inter-Portsmouth Messageboard conflicts (as there certainly are between certain QPR boards!)?

We are all Pompey so 'should' share a common goal, although lets face it we are all 'rivals' really as we want to have more members on our own sites do we not? I cannot say I have any major conflicts with any site, well not as far as I am concerned anyway but I know that Vital Pompey is the best so why should I worry lol!

Do Portsmouth have one (or two) special rivals? (I believe that might be Southampton!?) If so, Is it a mild dislike or a viceral hatred? (and do supporters of those clubs feel the same way about Portsmouth)?

Yep, s.cum are our main rivals, they hate us and we then. Although to be honest I do not really have that hatred of them that I know others do. Perhaps this is because I was brought up away from the area so did not see the rivalry first hand as much?
Got to say that I am more interested in us than 'anti-supporting' a rivals.

What do you think of your current manager? What did you think of his predecessor? Especially what do you think of Harry Redknapp?! What's your view of Terry Venables and Terry Fenwick and John Gregory - all with QPR 'pedigrees' and most recently Paul Hart?

To be fair with what he has he has done pretty well, although from what I continue to hear about him I am not sure he is that nice a guy, certainly his man management skills need some working on and his treatment of younger players, which is 'bad' to say the least. As said, with what he has he had done pretty well although I am not convinced he will be here long-term to be honest.

These are all in the past, many of which are best forgotten – the Two Terry's are a pair of c****s though! Any 'grudge' that I had against Redknapp is now done and dusted, as said though they are all the past and we move on.

What do you think of the current Portsmouth Owners (and all the others)? WHY are they involved with Portsmouth? What do you expect? Could they realistically have done more to have kept you up last season (after a remarkable first season)?
I ask this in all my questionnaires, but in the case of Portsmouth, you've had a mind-boggling stream of owners.
What was the turning point for Portsmouth in your ownership/financial "issues"?

They are not really putting any money in, then again they never said that they would and to be honest do any owners ever really 'put money in?' They just put it in against the club. So long, even if it might not seem like it, the club is being stabilised that will do me in all honesty.

Could they have done more to keep us up? The off-the-field issues did little to help but at the end of the day, some bad luck of not, the players we had 'should' have been good enough to do that but they were not and going into administration just confirmed what would have happened anyway,

Are you disappointed with how Portsmouth are doing this season? In your heart of hearts, did you really expect promotion this season? Do you expect to improve? Or are you just grateful to be in existence?

Not disappointed as it was what I expected, although to be honest I thought worse and was not really expecting as much 'quality' to remain as we have. Survival in the nopower was always my hope for this season, in fact I felt it was a must, so if we do that I will be happy. Oh, I am in no hurry, despite the financial rewards, for us to go back to 'the promised land'.

Who are your Dangermen/Most valued/most overrated/most underrated players?

Ibrahima Sonko and Carl Dickinson are dangerous, for us! Should one of both play, as I suspect, then that will help you. Liam Lawrence is the most valued not entirely sure that anyone is overrated but think that the younger players have been underrated to our costs. Joel Ward is proving himself this season though, and proving Cotterill wrong.

Prediction for season promotion/relegation places - And how would that compare with pre-season prediction?

To be honest with you I did not, and still have not, really thought about this area – I would say you guys going up is pretty much nailed on though.

What is your view and the general Portsmouth view of QPR (If we even feature in your consciousness)?

Cannot say, if I am honest, I really give QPR much of a thought and I am not convinced that many other Pompey fans would either?

Over the years: Quite a number of shared players including Crouch (a great guy) and Quashie (no comment), Warren Neil, Mike Fillery, and most recently, Alan Smith... Throw in Chairman Gregory and manager Venables and Fenwick and John Gregory all with QPR connections. And of course, Paul Hart. I think back to QPR and Portsmouth of the late 1960s and early. Portsmouth had a midfielder, Norman Piper, who for years QPR were linked with

What are your past Encounter Memories - Best Memory/Worst Memory of Past QPR-Portsmouth Encounters? Who is your favourite QPR Player over the years? (And your least favourite)? Ditto any view of Neil Warnock?

Have only been to Loftus Road once, think it was 1998/99 or 1999/2000 when we drew, 1-1 or was it 0-0? Think it was 1-1 with Guy Whittingham, or another veteran, Stevie Claridge scoring. Final game of the 1999/2000 season we played you at Fratton and you beat us 2-1. Other than that I cannot really think of any games that spring instantly to mind.

Always liked Les Ferdinand and Butch Wilkins, would not mind either playing for us now or the latter as a coach at Fratton.

Warnock is one of those people that you love to hate, and we all hate him unless he is our manager. Always has, and always will, do a job at this level but not entirely sure at the highest. Think he is a character in football though, which you need.

We've both had narrow by the teeth survival - QPR were in administration and in the (old) Third Division...Portsmouth sinking down to lower leagues...Getting Promoted to the top...Getting relegated...Getting promoted...Quite some turmoil.
If you have been in the brown stuff you can always relate to another club that has been in trouble likewise, and always appreciate what you have.

Are you looking forward to playing QPR?

I always look forward to a game, I do not always wish I had after it though! Would not have minded doing this one but with funds tight as I have done Loftus Road before it had to be missed.


Call me crazy, and accuse me of letting my heart rule my head, but I reckon we will win this one. We have a very good record against clubs in the top 8, especially away from home so why not. We WILL concede though, so a 3-2 win...

Where, realistically, do you think Portsmouth will be in five years time?

If we have slipped below this level I would be seriously worried, in fact I am not sure that we would have a long-term future if we did? Whatever though I would hope that we would have stabilised and gotten back on an level playing field with all debts paid off so we can attempt to rebuild, the right way!

Do you have any advice for QPR fans, in the event that we do go up? (Spend more/spend less; keep the manager; change the manager, etc)

I would say in this day and age of football be careful what you wish for, the consequences of this are not always what you would have wanted. The more the club spends, if they do not have it, the more trouble they can end up in if it goes belly up!

Good luck for the rest of the season, and the future guys.

Once again, many thanks to Pav of www.portsmouth.vitalfootball.co.uk

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