Cotterill: No need to rein in my team

Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

Steve Cotterill will not rein in his men after their card spree at Brighton.

Cotterill slammed referee Graham Scott's performance as Pompey crashed out of the Cup.

Scott sent off Dave Kitson and booked seven players as the Blues fell to a 3-1 defeat but the manager wants his men to carry on showing their passion and fire.

After Pompey went crashing out of the FA Cup, Cotterill said: 'I thought the ref was very poor, very pedantic.

'He won't work in the Premier League if that's what he aspires to.

'There's not three bookings in a minute, like what happened in the firs-half. It was ridiculous.

'The referee won't have to explain his performance, will he?

'I think sometimes referees can have bad days. He's had a few.

'I have told the lads I'm disappointed with the cards.

'At the end of the day, though, when the players cross that white line you want them to be passionate.

'There are times you can't do anything about a booking.

'It's a passionate sport. If the players aren't passionate at our club they will not be forgiven by the supporters.

'I said I thought we were a bit indisciplined after the red card but the players felt hard done by on it and that's where the recriminations have come from. The first major decision has kicked them in the teeth.

'They've had a few kicks in the teeth.'

The game swung on Dave Kitson's first-half dismissal after he walked following a tussle with Brighton defender Adam El-Abd.

Cotterill was fuming with the decision from Scott and is weighing up an appeal against the three-game ban handed to his striker.

The Pompey boss believes Kitson did nothing more than shove the Seagulls man after being grappled by him.

Cotterill said: 'I haven't seen it but I saw their player go down holding his face and Dave Kitson said he pushed him in the chest.

'El-Abd was hugging him and he pushed him away. He did it again and he pushed him away.

'He made a meal of it. I need to have a look at it and see what we can do regarding that. It was disappointing after a bright start. The sending off was a turning point.'

Cotterill was disappointed with the manner of the goals Pompey conceded – as his team made it a terribly poor 12 goals shipped in four games.

He feels tiredness was a factor in their performance with the desperately short squad wilting after the Christmas period.

Cotterill said: 'We've lost a marker for the first goal and the second one he jumped with his arm up. It looked a penalty from where I was.

'I haven't got any gripes with their goals really.

'The players have been through a gruelling period, and this is the end of it.

'A few hurtful things happened.

'We started well but as soon as the sending off arrives it changes how we play.

'I thought we were good with 11. We had to try something, though, but having 10 made it difficult.

'Fatigue in the lads is making it difficult too.

'They kept going, though.'