Keene opens Blues account at first time of asking

James Keene gets behind the Colchester defence to open his goal account during his second spell at the Blues
James Keene gets behind the Colchester defence to open his goal account during his second spell at the Blues
Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss weighs up best attacking formula

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James Keene hit the Pompey goal trail and admitted: That’s the first chance I’ve had.

And the hitman backed himself to continue to take the opportunities which come his way – if they arrive.

Keene grabbed his maiden Blues strike at the third time of asking against Colchester.

It was an emphatic second-half finish following a flowing move which was fit enough to grace any game at any level.

The 27-year-old felt he and David Connolly were largely left to feed off scraps as Pompey delivered a terrible first-half display.

In fact, Keene insisted his goal was the first clear-cut opportunity he’s had since he returned to the club where he first emerged.

He said: ‘That was my first chance since I’ve been here.

‘When the ball drops for me and I get in the box I like to put them away.

‘It’s about creating those chances. Me and David didn’t have a lot to do.

‘The ball was kicked up in the air to two of the biggest central defenders you’ve ever seen.

‘I don’t think many strikers would win too many headers from them.

‘I wasn’t properly involved in the game. I could run around, chase things down and make it hard but you can’t do much more than that.

‘You are up against massive defenders and the ref doesn’t help too much, which makes it difficult.

‘Me and Dave are similar players. When he gets his chances in training he takes them. It’s those chances we need.’

Keene admitted the woeful first-half effort Pompey served up was ‘embarrassing’.

The Blues shipped three goals in the opening 20 minutes and it could easily have been a lot worse as the half progressed.

They rallied after the interval and pushed Colchester on to the back foot.

But errors at the back were again their undoing.

Keene said: ‘It’s the same basic mistakes we have seen time and time again.

‘It shouldn’t happen at this level.

‘You make it hard for yourself when you give away three goals like that.

‘We showed great spirit in the second half to come back into it and looked like we were going to get a point from the game.

‘But it’s never going to be easy with mistakes like that.

‘We want do better for ourselves and the fans – the first-half was embarrassing really.

‘We commanded the second-half. We played football and showed we are a good team with good players who want to play for the club.

‘It was a great goal and there was a touch of class from Liam Walker, a fantastic touch, with four or five good passes beforehand.’

– JORDAN CROSS