IT WASN'T the best of performances against West Brom in the FA Cup but at the end of the day a 1-1 draw isn't a bad result, we now play them at our place and hopefully we'll progress to the next round. West Brom have improved. We played them at The Hawthorns at the start of the season and drew 1-1 again but I felt we played better than that this time and they look a lot stronger. They've given themselves every chance of staying up.
THE CLUB has brought in quality young players in the transfer window and to get Andy Reid and Michael Dawson was a big achievement. It shows the direction the club is going in. These are two great players and great prospects fot the future. I've not seen too much of them because we travelled up to Bolton but they seem good lads and, with a young squad, they'll find it easy to settle here. It feels like I'm getting old now and I'm 25! The club has bought young English players, quality foreign players and there is a nice blend here now. We have cover in every position now and when we get the likes of Sean Davis back we'll have a great squad.
RADEK CERNY was one of the players the club brought in during the transfer window. He has a lot of experience and looks a good keeper. It seems a good deal and hopefully his arrival will allow one or two of our younger goalkeepers to go out on loan to get the experience they need. It's difficult for goalkeepers, especially young goalkeepers. You need to get a break and be in the right place at the right time. For instance, Marton Fulop is 21 now and, when I was his age, I'd already played 40-odd games in the Premier League. He's in an unfortunate position where he's only playing reserve games so he needs to go out on loan to progress his career. You need to play because you can't re-create the pressure of game situations. Both Marton and Rob Burch are very good young goalkeepers and we have a lot of strength there, they just need to play games.
WE DIDN'T GET the rub of the green at Bolton. The penalty was a big decision against us. It wasn't clear at the time what it was awarded for, the referee just turned around and pointed to the spot. It's a big call in a game like that. Then at the other end Fredi has his free-kick, the same thing happens and he waved it away. Fredi was unlucky because I felt the first booking was harsh. A point with 10 men would have been a good result there. Before the game we said we needed to get back to winning ways but a point wouldn't be a disaster. With 10 men we would have taken a point. The third goal looked offside as well. We could make lots of excuses but the fact is that we lost and we need to start picking up points quickly again in the league.
BOLTON hit a lot of balls into the box and we knew that beforehand. We knew what to expect. Tony Gardner broke his nose, Ledley has a few bumps and bruises, I've got a dead leg and cut on my hip but that's what you expect. In games like this I have to help the defenders as much as I can by coming for everything I can get to.
PORTSMOUTH haven't had the best of spells but they beat Middlesbrough on Tuesday night and they will be on a high. We need to find our form at home, hopefully re-create the Everton game, start scoring a few goals and winning games again.That was a great performance and do it do against club like Everton who are riding so high was even better. Portsmouth are good team with good players. We lost down there as well so we owe them one and hopefully that will be Saturday.