Pompey pair sidelined for Blackpool

Nathan Thompson is shown the red card. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nathan Thompson is shown the red card. Picture: Joe Pepler
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

Plymouth’s goalkeeping crisis ahead of Pompey clash

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Pompey have lost the services of Nathan Thompson and Stuart O’Keefe for next weekend’s trip to Blackpool.

But the suspended duo are available for Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy clash at Charlton.

I do feel the booking was a little bit harsh and am not sure it was a yellow card on its own, but it was the referee’s decision and we have to stick with it

Kenny Jackett

Thompson has collected a one-match ban following his 84th-minute dismissal at Luton for two bookable offences.

In addition, O’Keefe collected his fifth yellow card of the campaign to put him out of the Bloomfield Road visit.

Under terms of the Checkatrade Trophy, both are eligible for that fixture as existing suspensions do not count.

However, they will be on the sidelines as the Blues aim to prevent a fourth-consecutive league defeat.

Kenny Jackett said: ‘When you see the amount of bookings, there is a lot of commitment there and we have to work hard to keep the players’ confidence.

‘For Nathan Thompson’s second booking, he’s obviously made the wrong decision to pull the ball down and should have gone back to the keeper early or hooked it down the line.

‘As soon as the guy has got across him it was a free-kick.

‘I do feel the booking was a little bit harsh and am not sure it was a yellow card on its own, but it was the referee’s decision and we have to stick with it.

‘With his first booking, James Collins has come over, raised his hands and pushed him in the chest, it could have been a red card for both, you do see those situations.

‘Now Stuart O’Keefe has five bookings, but in their positions we have experienced players to come in and they will do a good job – and work hard to keep their shirt.’

James Collins’ strike in first-half stoppage time settled a tight contest to eliminate the Blues from the FA Cup at the first round.

Pompey had their opportunities to grab a replay, yet the equaliser eluded.

Jackett added: ‘It was a feisty cup tie, we put a lot of pressure on them and, fair play to them, they got the first goal and held out.

‘It’s a disappointing run of results for all of us, but we are quite close as well.

‘We are not getting beaten by much and it’s a situation we can turn it around – but we cannot let the players feel sorry for themselves and lose their confidence.

‘They played some good first-touch football for the first goal and we got some momentum in the second half.

‘Right up to when it was a sending off I felt we gave a good account of ourselves and had a real battle with 10-men.’

– NEIL ALLEN