Full circle for Pompey boss
IT is one year since John Mousinho made his final appearance as a player in the first round of the FA Cup when he did his bit to help Oxford win at Woking, and the Portsmouth head coach marked the anniversary by falling victim to a giant-killing. it is all part of the learning curve for the youngest boss in League One. The 37-year-old was, by his own admission, a ‘left-field appointment’ when he landed the Pompey job in January, but he has made a brilliant start, top of the table and unbeaten since March. Under their Us owners, hopes are high and eyes are on a return to the Championship for the first time since 2012. Mousinho was aware of the expectations long before joining children to bake cupcakes as part of the EFL Week of Action, when all 72 clubs highlight the work they do in communities up and down the country.
‘The short to medium term goal is to get back in the Championship,’ he said. ‘Then there’s a recent history of the club in the Premier League and our owners are willing to invest to get back to that level. ‘They are incredibly ambitious but they want to do it the right way, where spending is sustainable. For all the years in the Premier League and winning the FA Cup, they never owned their own training ground. Now we do and we’re trying to build on it.’ The 2008 FA Cup winners can now concentrate on the league after they were beaten in front of more than 1,500 travelling fans by National League leaders Chesterfield yesterday. All will be forgiven if Mousinho can win promotion though.
POMPEY’S Under 18s were also caught in an upset in the FA Youth Cup last week, knocked out by Eastleigh. Elsewhere in the competition, Fylde sprang a surprise by beating Doncaster.
JOE DAY made his claim to be one of the heroes of the FA Cup first round by helping Yeovil beat Gateshead, despite three days in hospital on a drip last week after a spider bite near an ear became infected. Day, on loan from Newport, wore Petr Cech-style headgear to protect the wound.
SWINDON TOWN’S embarrassing 7-4 defeat at home to non-League Aldershot in the FA Cup prompted a long statement from owner Clem Morfuni. Meanwhile, their neighbours — Swindon Supermarine of the Southern League Premier South — let in four at Basingstoke, taking their total conceded to 43 in 14 games.