Pompey defender rues ‘soul destroying’ defeat

Pompey defender Greg Halford in action at Portman Road. Picture: Steve Reid
Pompey defender Greg Halford in action at Portman Road. Picture: Steve Reid
Pompey midfielder Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler

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Greg Halford believes Pompey will struggle to produce a more dominant performance than the one delivered against Ipswich last night.

The defender admitted losing 1-0 at Portman Road after having much the better of the game against the Tractor Boys was ‘soul destroying’.

Pompey racked up the chances in the first-half but couldn’t make their pressure tell.

Luke Varney, Dave Kitson, Joel Ward and Ricardo Rocha had just some of the opportunities which came the way of the visitors.

That was against a team who were unbeaten in five outings prior to the clash.

Halford was pleased with what he saw in terms of Pompey’s display but found the loss hard to take.

He said: ‘That will be one of the most dominant performances we will produce this season.

‘So to come out with nothing is soul destroying.

‘We pressed high up and made them give us the ball back.

‘They were reduced to one real chance. They were lucky they scored.

‘To stop a home team like that is promising, though.

‘Maybe we need that little bit of concentration in the final third. The all-round play was very good. We can take a lot from that.’

Pompey’s frustration at defeat was compounded by the fact there was more than an air of fortune about Ipswich’s winner.

The ball hit sub Nathan Ellington’s shoulder in the 69th minute as he tried to head home Carlos Edwards’ cross and fell to Keith Andrews, who made no mistake.

Halford said: ‘I was right behind him. I put him off a little bit and just nudged him so he couldn’t get a proper header.

‘It’s hit his shoulder and then landed for the midfield runner.

‘It’s annoying but maybe we just needed to switch on a bit from it.’

Halford believes Pompey have benefited from a switch to a 4-4-2 in the past two games.

That change was implemented by Steve Cotterill in the build-up to Saturday’s Barnsley meeting.

Halford said: ‘We played a 4-4-2 against the Russian team (Rostov) and it really worked.

‘Before the manager left he was going to go with 4-4-2 against Barnsley and set the team up to do that.

‘To be fair, Guy and Stuart have had a pretty easy job because we’ve had a 2-0 win and they haven’t had to change things.

‘Kits slotted in for Benji effortlessly and we’ve performed well. We just need that extra bit of concentration.’