>
My tribe

Veteran Kanu earns the plaudits and points for Portsmouth

Second half substitute Kanu netted the only goal in the 1-0 win over Barnsley at Fratton Park to earn the praise of Portsmouth first-team coach Ian Woan. Woan said: "There were a few raised eyebrows from the fans (when we brought him on), but you want your subs to make an impact.

"He's an absolute magician. You see him day in, day out on the training pitch and some of the things he does with the ball are phenomenal. He's a top, top professional given where he has played and the enthusiasm he gives us every week in training.

"His legs can't carry him for 90 minutes sometimes now. But in a game that is crying out for someone to get hold of it, you throw the big fella on and he is a magician.

"You can't get the ball off him. People get to the stage where they don't want to go and challenge him. He embarrasses you.

"The whole stand starts cheering, he does the step-overs - you know they're coming but you can't do anything about it. We just didn't have that and he was perfect for the situation."

On picking up a second straight clean sheet, Woan added: "I think it's a major plus for us. We have struggled to keep clean sheets.

"The back-line in the last two games has been the same. That has made a big difference. We've done a lot of work with them on the training field.

"Continuity is a big thing with the back four. You need to know what everyone is doing. When you pick the same back four, it makes a big difference to them."

Barnsley boss Mark Robins felt they should have defended the goal better.

Robins said: "To concede the goal we did in the manner we did was poor. I was shouting on from the side because I could see what was coming.

"It was a poor goal to give away. A point down here would have been a decent point and set us up for Tuesday night's game (at Leeds).

"The free-kick that resulted in the goal was a little bit harsh I think. But we haven't defended properly. We conceded a goal late on and left a difficult way back."

Robins admitted his team lacked a cutting edge.

He said: "We threw bodies forward but we lacked ideas up front. We didn't look like we were going to score a goal.

"It's about the players understanding what's required of them when they go on to a football field. They need to get it into the right areas and give the team a lift.

"We need to score a goal away from home earlier, which gives us a little confidence and something to build on. It looked as if we were just hoping we might get a goal, rather than going out and making it happen.

"That, for me, has been symbolic of the season away from home. We need someone to get hold of the game by the scruff of the neck and make things happen for the team."

About the author

Dave Williams

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?