Cotterill: Pompey punishment could have been prevented

113285_PFC_HULL_17/09/11''Hull V Portsmouth at KC Stadium, Hull. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113285-)
113285_PFC_HULL_17/09/11''Hull V Portsmouth at KC Stadium, Hull. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113285-)
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Steve Cotterill accused his players of failing to follow instructions after allowing Robert Koren to inflict a disappointing Hull defeat.

The former West Brom midfielder netted the decisive goal in the Blues’ 1-0 KC Stadium defeat.

His 11th minute drive from distance beat Jamie Ashdown at his near post to leave Pompey in 18th spot.

For Cotterill that outcome was something he had warned his players about 24 hours earlier.

The subject of Koren’s willingness to shoot was addressed in a pre-match meeting on Friday night.

Regardless, he was given plenty of time to set his targets and record the only goal of the match.

And an infuriated Cotterill believes that moment was born entirely out of his players not carrying out their duties.

He said: ‘On Friday night we showed a clip of Koren coming inside and shooting.

‘There’s nothing more we can do that would have or could have prevented that happening on Saturday.

‘We could have closed the shot down better, we could have won the header in the middle of the park but we lost that, too.

‘It has ended up with the ball bobbling down, they have got it to Koren and, from the time he has received the ball, we haven’t tightened him down.

‘We spoke about that right after dinner on Friday night and showed clips on it.

‘We can’t do any more to prevent that goal, other than things we have been doing.

‘Maybe another day it goes wide or hits the post or we get a block on it. We seem to be getting punished for things at the moment.

‘The lads aren’t going to play well all the time – but when you don’t play well the thing is to do the things you have been told and grind out a result.

‘Had we done that we would have prevented them scoring.’

After an encouraging display at West Ham last weekend, Pompey’s Hull showing was desperately poor.

They failed to test Adriano Basso in the Tigers’ goal whatsoever.

At the other end, Jamie Ashdown pulled off three magnificent stops – all from Robbie Brady – to keep the scoreline down.

Pompey could have had no complaints had the result been far more emphatic.

And Cotterill admitted he could have no gripe with Hull’s third successive triumph.

He added: ‘There is nearly always something you can take as positives.

‘Varney’s performance before his sending off was very good, he was everywhere.

‘I thought Joel Ward did well in there as well.

‘But it was a disappointing performance in the first half, although better in the second.

‘And I don’t think we worked their goalkeeper enough to get a result out of it.

‘Unfortunately, Jamie had to make three good saves and their keeper didn’t have to make three good saves.

‘At the end of the day, they deserved to win the game.’