Doyle angered by Pompey naivety

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey captain Brett Pitman Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Doyle fumed over Pompey’s naivety as they shot themselves in the foot in their big promotion battle.

And the Blues skipper warned his team-mates they need to find a ruthless streak if their season isn’t to end in disappointment.

Two goals in two minutes saw Paul Cook’s side fall to a desperately disappointing 2-1 loss to Plymouth on Saturday.

But it was the manner in which Pompey ended up empty handed from a position of control which disappointed Doyle.

The midfielder felt missed chances were to blame rather than the late sloppiness from his team.

Doyle said: ‘We were so in control of the game. But that’s what happens when you don’t kill the game off.

‘I’m not being bitter towards Plymouth but it looked like there was one team in the game.

‘We didn’t kill them off and were naive from a set piece. It’s disappointing.

‘There was five minutes of madness, but you can have five minutes of madness and still win.

‘We were so in control and where we wanted to be. We needed to get that second goal.

‘We’ve gone from having a chance and not scoring to picking the ball out of the net. It’s naive.

‘At 2-0 it would have been game over. If you kill the game off with the goal it would have been over.

‘We need to be more ruthless. We got into the positions to make it comfortable.

‘We had enough opportunities to finish the game off and make it comfortable. It’s naive and we need to get better at that.

‘If we do end up in the play-offs, when you have those crucial spells when you are on top of team you need to punish them.

‘Those five minute spells can make the difference.

‘It can make it easy for you. There’s a lot to learn for us. Now it’s looking more like the play-offs, but we’re not giving up hope.

‘We’ve got a mountain to climb.’

After building momentum going into the game with three wins on the bounce, the defeat sucks away the impetus Pompey had gathered.

News a win would have put the fate of Cook’s side in their own hands in terms of automatic promotion was another body blow to take.

Doyle believes only five wins out of five will give Pompey a chance of making the top three now.

And it’s up to the players to lift the fans out of the disappointment they are rightly feeling

Doyle said: ‘Every time we’ve slipped up other teams have slipped up. That typifies everything for us over the course of the season.

‘We’ve never really caught that momentum and we’ve let a lot of teams off the hook.

‘We could have overtaken Plymouth and we would have been the team with all the momentum.

‘We need to win every game.

‘There’s 15 points to play for. That’d take us to 84 points. That should be more than enough.

‘It’s going to be in the 80s. I think we can get there. I really do. I think the games are good.

‘As disappointing as it is we’re not throwing in the towel, We’re more than capable of winning the games.

‘But people will feel very disappointed and it’s up to us to change the mood among the fans.’