Glyn Hodges expressed his disappointment with the manner of goals conceded at Portsmouth tonight, as the hosts effectively sealed victory before the break.
Three goals in 16 minutes before half-time exposed defensive weaknesses, and our manager was frustrated with the errors made by his players.
“We started well and even second-half we were at it, but we’ve done it again - we’ve made errors that have cost us. When you are playing against experienced players they punish you and the difference between the two teams was quite significant today. We’ve got to do better and we’ve got no excuses as the goals came through our errors. While they are a top team, we are disappointed.
"The first goal was an error, the second one was an error, and so were the other goals. We analyse, we go through it, and we change things, but errors like that are creeping in at the moment. At half-time, we said ‘just grab a 0-0, or win the second-half, and get some momentum’. Rudi had a good chance and their manager was getting the hump because we were mainly in their half and having a go. It’s just punishing times and we didn’t really deserve that punishment.
"It’s not just defence, the fourth goal came from our attacking free-kick, so that’s nothing to do with defence. It’s just getting set up for things and we try to get messages on. Even with the free-kick for Raggett’s goal, we have a plan for that. We will keep giving them the information and hopefully the penny drops, but it’s so disappointing because I feel for them. They are great lads, they want to do so well, and they are as frustrated, and as disappointed as me. The 45 minutes without conceding would have been nice, going into Saturday, and if we show the glimpses that we did in the second half we are 90 minutes away from three points.
One positive to come from the night was a first start since October for Luke O'Neill, who came off just after the hour, with Glyn keen to protect him.
“I was very pleased with Luke again, so he is one you want to keep on for the whole game, but you also have to protect him because he has been out for a long spell. Once he’s back, it’s about balancing it off and making sure that he’s fit and ready to go at the weekend.”
Pic credit: Jason Brown, Pro Sports Images.