Boss unsure Burnley blow is out of Pompey’s system

Ritchie de Laet battles with Burnley's Clarke Carlisle on a woeful night for the Blues
Ritchie de Laet battles with Burnley's Clarke Carlisle on a woeful night for the Blues
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

Picture gallery: Pompey 1 Walsall 1

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Steve Cotterill admits he is unsure if Pompey have recovered from their Burnley blow ahead of tonight’s tough trip to QPR.

The Blues turned in comfortably their worst home performance of the season in their last fixture.

A week ago, Burnley cruised out of Fratton Park with a 2-1 victory.

It was a sorry display which ranks alongside this season’s visits to Preston and Barnsley in the eyes of the Blues boss.

Both of those league matches had produced showings equally as bad from Pompey this term.

Tonight they face QPR, currently five points clear at the Championship’s summit.

Hardly the best fixture to try to bounce back from that Burnley debacle.

For Cotterill, he’s waiting to see if his side have the confidence to respond from that body blow against the Clarets last week.

Cotterill said: ‘We won’t know if the Burnley performance is out of our system until after tonight’s game.

‘It was our worst home performance of the season, for sure.

‘I don’t know how much confidence we will go to Loftus Road with.

‘We’re on the back of a not-very-good performance against Burnley so whether we are confident, I don’t know the answer to that.

‘Hopefully we are confident that we can start playing well again.

‘Before the Burnley game the performances were okay but we just didn’t quite get the results.

‘They looked lively in training yesterday.

‘They look a bit more refreshed after the break so, hopefully, they will be okay against QPR.

‘We need to try to make sure that we can get back to a winning run.

‘There have been a lot of teams who have gone on some really bad runs and have then come again.

‘We’ve got to make sure that we come again.’

Pompey have now gone eight games without a win in all competitions.

Not since they triumphed at Norwich on December 11 have they tasted victory.

The Canaries currently lie second in the table behind QPR.

That result at Carrow Road can definitely provide the Blues with hope as they look to end their barren run.

Similarly, Pompey also won at Swansea last month, who are in fourth spot at present.

Regardless, the trip to Loftus Road promises to be a tough occasion.

And Cotterill does not need reminding about the size of the task his men face against Neil Warnock’s side.

He added: ‘QPR have a big, strong, healthy squad where they can cope with any loss of form, loss of confidence or injuries.

‘We are seeing those bigger and stronger squads starting to come to the fore now.

‘You don’t need to keep pushing people who are carrying an injury or suffering with confidence when you have a big squad.

‘They’ve done very well. They went on that long unbeaten run, which gave them great confidence and stability.

‘They are very difficult to beat anywhere.’

On the Rs squad, Cotterill added: ‘They’ve got some good experienced pros who do well for them and keep the other players on their toes. Players like Shaun Derry and Clint Hill are good guys who have been around the Championship for years.

‘As for Adel Taarabt, we know that the boy has got ability and we need to keep a watchful eye on him.

‘It’s also about how well we play and what we do.’