Pompey boss demands cup response

Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey have been challenged to deliver a Capital One Cup response at Bournemouth and told: Be hard to beat.

Guy Whittingham has called on his back line to put right the defensive mistakes that riddled their opening-day loss against Oxford.

The Blues face a testing first-round tie against the Championship outfit at Dean Court tonight.

Whittingham spoke of the ‘hurt’ being felt by his players at the 4-1 scoreline in their League Two curtain-raiser.

He now wants to see a hunger to keep the Cherries at bay.

Whittingham said: ‘The result on Saturday hurt everyone.

‘The manager, players and the staff. No-one likes to lose.

‘But we have to make sure we respond in the right way and by responding in the right way we have to be positive.

‘If we had played badly, everybody was shocking and we capitulated, we would look for a response.

‘But I’m not looking for a response from that point of view.

‘I think the response we want is we have to be harder to beat.

‘We have to have more determination to keep goals out.

‘Every goal we conceded against Oxford we had more players in the box than them.

‘So that’s one thing which is a concern. Are they in the right place?

‘Every finish they had was clinical but when you concede there is always something to improve on. There has to be.

‘We’ve shown we have good footballers.

‘But what we have to show is a determination to keep clean sheets.’

Pompey travel to take on Eddie Howe’s side a fortnight after going down to a 2-1 friendly loss against them.

The League One runners-up showed their passing and attacking quality on that occasion – and got off to a winning start in the Championship against Charlton at the weekend.

Whittingham has no desire to harp on about Saturday’s mistakes.

He just wants his players to enjoy the challenge of tackling a side with a pure footballing philosophy.

‘You have to learn but you can’t linger on it,’ he said.

‘I’ve had a look at the game but I don’t think I need to remind them yet.

‘There may be times in the season where you will pull people and go through it – but with the games coming thick and fast there is no need to remind them.

‘They know what it is and we’ve gone through some things – but now we need to enjoy defending a bit more at Bournemouth.

‘We saw in pre-season the way they want to play.

‘So we know there will be a lot of defending to do.

‘We have to be accurate on the ball because they close you down quickly.

‘The players are looking forward to testing themselves against a Championship side.’