Blues challenged to bury Pride Park pain

113858-000_DERBY_POMPEY_SR_29/10/11'Action from Derby County vs Pompey at Pride Pride Park.'Stuart Gray (left) and Guy Whittingham.''Picture:Steve Reid 113858-000
113858-000_DERBY_POMPEY_SR_29/10/11'Action from Derby County vs Pompey at Pride Pride Park.'Stuart Gray (left) and Guy Whittingham.''Picture:Steve Reid 113858-000
Pompey and Fulham drew 3-3. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss disappointed not to get victory

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Pompey have been challenged to bury their Derby disappointment tonight.

Guy Whittingham has tasked the Blues with righting the first-half horror show at Pride Park as they go to Crystal Palace.

The clash at Selhurst Park arrives three days after Pompey shipped three goals in a miserable first half in Saturday’s 3-1 loss.

That made it five away losses on the bounce and 11 games without success on the road – a run stretching back to March.

Whittingham believes Pom-pey have been stung by the manner of the Derby defeat, coming after three encouraging performances since he and Stuart Gray took over as caretaker managers.

He feels the team are now champing at the bit to put that right as they take on this season’s surprise Championship package.

Whittingham said: ‘Everyone is a little despondent about what happened in the first half on Saturday, especially the first thirty minutes.

‘You have to remind them they did well in three previous games.

‘We got it wrong on Saturday and we have to put it right tonight.

‘The first 30 minutes against Derby was poor defending.

‘Everyone – the staff and players – know that it wasn’t a good job.

‘When we go to Palace I think you’ll see a set of players who know they let everyone down.

‘They let themselves down first and foremost and they will now be determined to put in a good performance.

‘I think any manager would be disappointed if their players didn’t know that first-half performance wasn’t good enough.

‘We know we have an honest bunch of players.

‘They should want to put it right. It’s professional pride.’

Whittingham and Gray have to weigh up whether to throw in new-boy Abdul Razak for his first full start after his weekend cameo at Pride Park.

The Ivory Coast teenager has arrived on a month’s loan from Manchester City in search of first-team minutes.

And Greg Halford could make a speedy comeback from the shoulder injury he picked up on Saturday.

Pompey have to decide whether it would be better for the defender to ensure he can be ready for the weekend clash with Nottingham Forest.

Whittingham said: ‘Abdul’s a young kid who has come to us on loan.

‘He’ll be pleased to be playing first-team games.

‘We’ll make a decision on whether he plays or not and we’ll consider the other factors we have to.

‘Greg is not too bad. We’ll see how it is today and make a last-minute decision. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

‘He saw a doctor on Sunday and it has settled down well. It’s just whether it has settled down enough.

‘It needs to get through the game as well. With him being a right-back you don’t want your centre-half coming out and taking throw-ins because he can’t.

‘And we have also got to think about Saturday as well.’