Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday April 13 2010
Wigan Athletic meet Portsmouth at the DW Stadium in a very important game that could have great implications at the bottom of the Premier League, but first there needs to be a meeting of the Vitals with Vital Latics and Vital Pompey catching up with each other over coffee and Hobnobs at Vital Towers, as always worbo from the Latics was there and was joined by Vital Portsmouth`s very own pompeyrug, lets see how the chat went:
worbo - First off a massive congratulations on what must have been a superb experience for you beating Spurs to set up another cup final for Portsmouth, have your feet touched the floor yet, I bet you`re buzzing aren`t you?
pompeyrug - Thanks! You could say that, I cannot stop grinning like a Cheshire cat although it only 'properly' sank in on Monday lunchtime when I sat down and said out a loud 'Pompey are in the FA cup final AGAIN' to myself. If I thought I was Pompey and Proud before the game it did not compare to how I felt after!
worbo - This must have been one rollercoaster ride of a season for Pompey fans, how have you coped, serious lows with the administration culminating in your relegation but what a high the last game of the season to be the FA cup final, one to remember would you say?
pompeyrug - Again, you could say that! It has been a rollercoaster ride with far too many downturns and not enough ups, although making the cup final means the world to me and gives us a final chance to say goodbye to the 'big leagues,' and hopefully also give one final two fingers up at some of the powers that be and those that tried to kill us! Also it gives us a final chance to show the premier league what they will be missing out on next season as the premier league will miss Portsmouth Football Club more than it, and we, misses the premier league as this will be poorer off without us in it.
I am not talking football wise, I mean fan wise - if you want a bunch of fans to 'promote' the top flight then we do this amazingly well.
worbo - Obviously we are still in trouble so from a very selfish point of view and I`m sure you`ll understand, what strength of team can we expect, will the Pompey players have their minds elsewhere and will they be knackered?
pompeyrug - I think you will be ok to be honest, the bottom 3 as it stands now is how it will finish methinks. It is a tough to say how we will set up though really as in all honesty we do not have a lot of options do we so might not have the 'luxury' of leaving too many out! Although NO chances will be taken though so I would not be at all surprised to see some of the kids play, and why not we owe the premier league anything so as much as I want every game to mean something to us why risk injuries to key players? Grant will put out the best he can though I am sure as he knows we have a 'duty' to football.
My main fear though is that if players are not giving it everything when they play they are more likely to pick up an injury, so the mentality must be right in their own minds as much as anything.
worbo - You took Michael Brown off us in August, I was sad to see him go, he is a real battler and though Rocha was named man of the match against Spurs I thought Brownie had a superb game full of fighting spirit, how`s he been this season and have the Pompey fans taken to him?
pompeyrug - Totally agree, my cousin and I spoke about this on Monday and both agreed that Brown was awesome! That, in my eyes, is what we have got from Brown for most of the season - he had a patch around Christmas time where he was pretty poor, but all in all I think he has been fantastic for us this season, and to think I was 'disappointed' when we re-signed him.
I think I would be 'gutted' to see him become one of those that 'might' leave I the summer...
worbo - A fresh start for you next season albeit in the Championship, what does the future hold for Portsmouth, can/will you bounce back and will Avram Grant still be manager come August?
pompeyrug - Time will tell I guess? I have questioned Grant's tactics at times but there are few managers that I can think of, former Pompey managers that is, that 'get' and 'understand' how much things mean to the fans as him. He stands with (Sir) Alan Ball for me on those stakes so I hope he hangs around and can build his own team and then be truly judged on a 'tactical' basis.
Will we bounce back? Again time will tell - in some ways I would not mind if we did not do this right away as we could rebuild and get things set up to how they need to be before we come back, and in this meantime start to really 'enjoy' it again a bit more week-in-week-out.
worbo - This has been a strange old season all round with crazy results, its been quite difficult to forecast individual games never mind how the season will pan out but with just five games to go things are beginning to get sorted, obviously you have gone and I can see/hope that Burnley and Hull will join you, as for the top four I think it will finish Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, how do you see the top and bottom ending up?
pompeyrug - In all honesty, in many ways I do not really care - in others I know I still look at these areas, as much down to my work with Vital and the things I need to do as anything. So I think Chelski will win the league with Arsenal, Manyoo and Citeh following them - I do not really want Citeh because it is 'probably' another bad thing for football that big money has certainly aided them, but hey ho!
At the bottom, we will of course be one of the bottom 3 but I would like West Ham to go, nothing at all against the club or fans I just cannot stick David's Gold and Sullivan! Although it will be Hull and Burnley too. No doubt I will do Hull for a 3rd year running and 'hopefully' finally see some goals, the cheap beer in the social club near the ground, and company of my friends in the journey from and back to Devon, has been the ONLY thing to be thankful for and remember from two real 'dour' 0-0 draws, and they were bad 0-0's! Burnley will be another one done again as the cricket club beer prices are almost 'giving it away' compared to what we are used to, although it means getting hammered again...
worbo - Ok prediction time, I think we will win, we need the points, Pompey will be tired, also have their minds on Wembley and remember 2005/06 season when we did you a favour, you know what I mean, I am going for 3-0 to the Latics, how do you see it finishing rug?
pompeyrug - I think you are probably right, and I do not really care if we lose - I do, but you know what I mean! Either way you will stay up.
worbo - Good luck in the cup final though you`ve already qualified for Europe with Chelsea destined for the Champions League, I hope you bounce back up first time of asking from the Championship Pompey fans are a credit to the Premier League, good luck finding some buyers as well.
pompeyrug - Cheers, best of luck for the future guys - I am sure we will meet again sometime and whilst, as said, in many ways I am in no means in a 'hurry' to get back to the premier league I would like to return one day and suspect you will still be around.
You can catch my return interview over on Vital Pompey
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Tuesday April 13 2010
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