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Tony Cottee: We should have beat Pompey

PUBLISHED: 11:44 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:32 05 October 2010

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26:  Carlton Cole of West Ham in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Portsmouth and West Ham United at Fratton Park on January 26, 2010 in Portsmouth, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Carlton Cole of West Ham in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Portsmouth and West Ham United at Fratton Park on January 26, 2010 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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It was a decent performance and with the chances we had in the game we should have beaten Portsmouth on Tuesday,"" says Tony Cottee

It was a decent performance and with the chances we had in the game we should have beaten Portsmouth on Tuesday.

It was definitely a case of two points dropped, but I feel at this stage when you play teams who are around you near the bottom, the most important thing is not to lose.

We controlled most of the match and it was a steady away performance, but in the end we were quite lucky to hang on, because they finished strongly.

Although you should expect that because they are fighting for their lives down at the bottom of the table and a point was really no good to them.

We had two or three chances in the first half that should have been taken and if they had gone in, we would have certainly walked away from Fratton Park with all three points.

Jack Collison brought a world-class save from Asmir Begovic and Frank Nouble missed a couple of good chances.

Frank needs to improve his composure in key situations and finishing is all about that and decisions.

For the first chance, he just shot straight at the goalkeeper and the second he seemed to change his mind mid-way through his shot, but he is young and he will improve.

There are very few natural goalscorers in the game and Frank will just have to work on that.

It is something he will have to learn quickly, because as a forward your main job is to score goals and if you can't do that, you usually find yourself out of the team.

Generally I thought he played well and was good at leading the line. He won a few headers and caused some problems with his work-rate.

I don't think it helped him to see Carlton Cole on the bench, because no matter what he would have done, Carlton would certainly have come on.

It was brilliant to see Cole come back into the team and we certainly need him, because he is such a good player.

He is the top goalscorer and he is an excellent targetman, and the fantastic reception he received from the fans when he was brought on also shows how they feel about him.

Mark Noble was our best player on Tuesday and it was the best performance I have seen from him in quite a while.

He was the anchor in the diamond formation that West Ham played with and it seems to suit his game playing just in front of the back four.

He probably can't get up and down the pitch as well as Jack Collison and Valon Behrami can, but he is technically better then the pair of them.

Playing as an anchorman gives Mark more time on the ball and his passing really impressed me, while he put in a couple of very good tackles as well.

James Tomkins followed up his man of the match showing against Villa with another outstanding game on Tuesday and he is bang in form right now. He is getting better and better now and he is still young.

He made a few mistakes earlier in the season, but he is young so he is not going to be consistent, its normal.

Like on Tuesday, the most important thing on Saturday is that we don't lose the game.

Losing games puts a lot more pressure on you and with the next three out of four games at Upton Park it is vital we play as well as we can.

I believe we are in a bit of false position right now. I think we will end up mid-table, and have no problem staying up, but if we are to make our move, we will have to do it soon.

We must go out there with the right attitude, like we have done in the past two games.

The players seem a lot more confident now and the financial stability should have buoyed the players.

Blackburn are a dangerous team though and they are a typical Sam Allardyce side. They are well organised and dangerous from set pieces, and although I would say we are more creative than Rovers, they do have some dangerous forward players, who on their day could cause us problems.

It now looks likely that Benni McCarthy will join the club from Blackburn Rovers and I believe he will be a good signing.

I really rate him highly and he is an excellent finisher with a proven record of scoring goals in the Premier League.

He is a bit different to what we currently have up front.

He is a bit like Guillermo Franco in a way as they are both poachers, but I feel McCarthy will probably score more goals than the Mexican.

I have always been impressed by him whenever I have seen him play and the most important thing to do, if we bring him in, is to get his mentality right.

It does not concern me that his attitude has been called into question by Sam Allardyce.

Benni is not in his early 20's and at the stage of his career he is at, he just wants to play football and he is clearly frustrated by the lack of match action he has been getting in Lancashire.

The positives of brining him in, far outweigh the negatives.

The owners have said that they want to bring in another striker even if Benni comes to the club and that probably is the right decision.

One more would mean we have seven forwards, but after the injury problems we have had lately, I don't believe you can ever have too many strikers.

It would have obviously been great if Ruud Van Nistelrooy had joined the club, however, with a player like that it was always unlikely to happen, because he is on such high wages and so many big clubs were interested.

I would like to see another full back and a goalkeeper, but time is running out and the club will have to act fast.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner


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