Pre-Pompey Presser #5
Jack Ross' Full Presser
Were you surprised that your Alim Ozturk red card appeal was successful?
“I wasn’t surprised, I said post-match I thought it was an incorrect decision, so I’m pleased common sense has prevailed in that sense. It’s disappointing because it of course does have an impact on the game. But we can’t do anything about it, you can’t affect that decision - from then on it just became about us making sure we won the game from there on after.”
Do you look and think what might have been had you not got the red card?
“Yeah, it’s very obvious that it does change the game. When you get a red card, to a centre-back as well, you have to make a change and lose one of your attacking players and adjust your system accordingly. I don’t dwell on it too much because it would be remiss to say that just because we still have 11 men on the park we would score again. You can’t know how the rest of the game would have panned out. So, we can’t dwell on it and we’re just glad that we will have him available for the second leg.”
Does it annoy you how many red card decisions you've successfully had overturned this season?
“It’s a bit like the last answer really, you can’t say with any certainty what might have happened. I can’t sit here with any degree of certainty and say those games - particularly Max Power’s red card at Walsall very early in the game which was rescinded - would have turned out any differently. These things just happen over the course of a season and I think maybe we have at times been hard done by, but it’s done, it’s in the past, and we can only affect what’s ahead of us.”
There's still very little between the two sides...
“Yeah all the games against them this season have been like that. The first half was very tame and a little tense and flat. The second half was a little bit more like us and the game had a bit more about it then. I would expect the minimum of the 90 minutes on Thursday to be the same because our lead will dictate that, and I think the second legs of these games usually act like that as well.”
How's Aiden McGeady?
“He’s not any different to how he was before the first leg, so we’ll just wait and make a decision on him. It will have to be a sensible decision and we’ll wait to see how he feels and then decide on the right course of action.”
How is takeover talk affecting the players?
“It’s very easy for us because the only thing I can affect is the preparation of the players and the only thing the players can affect is the performance on the pitch. The end of the season was a good time for us to refocus and regroup because there’s been a lot of external noise full stop - not just with takeovers but with other things as well. So we just used the season end as an opportunity to galvanise ourselves and I think that was reflected in the performance on Saturday night. I’m aware of the speculation, but my job is to continue to prepare the team as well as I can.”
Are you aware of what's going on?
“I’m aware of bits and pieces of it, but ultimately it’s nothing to do with me. I’m employed here as manager and my job is to get the best out of the playing squad and prepare as diligently and thoroughly as we possibly can. Hopefully we can do that for two more games.”
Does it affect you though? For example, how can you plan for next season?
“Again, it doesn’t affect me. My only focus is on doing my job. I could lose my job because we’re not winning games, or I can lose my job for other reasons. I can’t control that. What I can control is how I do the job and I take pride in what I do in that respect. In terms of planning, it’s not that easy anyway when you’re still uncertain of which league you will be in next season, and when you factor in this speculation, it will look likely we’ll have an awful lot of work to do quite quickly depending on the circumstances.”
How is Duncan Watmore?
"Duncan's ahead of schedule and has looked bright in training. It gives us something else to ponder going into Thursday night. He has had another couple of training sessions. He is in good shape now. We’ve got a fit and healthy squad at the minute."
How are the lads feeling?
"The lads are in a good place. Once we overcame a passive sense, we were good on Saturday. The lads are desperate for the game to come around and I’m confident they can deal with the atmosphere."