Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Fixture News

Mousinho: Shoots Of Improvement

Boss encouraged by progress ahead of Cheltenham contest

24 February 2023

John Mousinho
Photo: Jez Tighe/Pro Sports Images

It was only a few days ago that John Mousinho’s tenure in the Pompey hot-seat passed the one month barrier.

But he has already packed a lot into his time on the south coast – most notably seven League One matches.

They have included wins over Exeter, Fleetwood and Burton, along with two draws and another couple of defeats.

A lot has encouraged Mousinho about these early days at the club, although he is aware that there is still plenty of work to be done.

The Blues boss said: “I don’t think anyone can fully prepare you for exactly what the job is like when you come in.

“You have your own ideas of what’s going to happen and how you’re going to conduct yourself – I’ve largely tried to stick with that.

“But there are 20 new things that pop up every single day and you have to manage them. It’s the sheer volume of responsibilities as a head coach that you perhaps don’t anticipate.

“That’s especially true when things don’t quite go to plan – whether that’s an injury on the day before a game or someone’s baby being born.

“Thankfully, we’ve been able to handle everything and there’s certainly been nothing that’s put me off the job. In fact, it’s made it all the more enjoyable.

“We’re getting there and seeing some real shoots of improvement, especially out of possession when we look an aggressive side who want to close the opposition down.

“Sometimes that might have cost us, such as at Plymouth when we were exposed for a couple of goals.

"It’s the sheer volume of responsibilities as a head coach that you perhaps don’t anticipate."

John Mousinho

“But it’s better for us to try to play the right way and get used to that, rather than delay things and wait until everyone gets the principles.

“For the most part, the reaction from the players has been excellent and they’ve been able to execute what we’re looking for.

“We’re trying to have more purpose in possession – and we weren’t ruthless enough last week – but we’ll keep working on it and we’ve definitely seen progress.”

Cheltenham head to Fratton Park on Saturday off the back of a penalty shoot-out defeat that denied them a trip to Wembley for the Papa Johns Trophy final.

Mousinho said: “They’re an extremely solid side and anyone who switched on the television to watch them on Tuesday night would have seen that.

“They gave Plymouth a run for their money – and we know what they’re all about – and are well organised.

“Cheltenham are strong on the counter-attack and have a squad who have been together a while and enjoyed some success.

“There’s a fine line for us between being confident and not respecting the opposition. We have to make sure we put ourselves in a position to win because they’ll be no pushovers.”

Mousinho also provided an update on the rapidly clearing Pompey treatment room, with several players making good progress.

He said: “Tom Lowery is close to being available for selection again, so we’ll sit down with the medical department and see if we’re happy for him to be fully integrated into the group on Monday.

“Jay Mingi is a bit further behind, so we’ll probably be having that same conversation about him at the end of next week.

“Clark Robertson is on a similar timescale, while we’re making sure Zak Swanson comes back strongly from his groin injury. With Marlon Pack, it’s going to be 4-6 weeks as we’ve said previously.”

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account