Waddock doesn’t know the answer – but it’s still an away win

Gary Waddock. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Waddock. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kennedy ‘surprised’ at Pompey omission – but determined to return

  • Pompey collect their third win in 23 away league matches this season
  • Have totalled only 18 points from a possible 69 on their travels
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Gary Waddock admitted Pompey’s away-day failings have left him scratching his head.

Nonetheless, the Blues ended this season’s fixtures on the road with a rare victory.

If we had improved our away form we would be in a much healthier position, so we are disappointed with our results this season

Gary Waddock

A 2-1 success at Mansfield on Saturday represented only a third in their League Two campaign, a return which has been a primary reason for their 16th placing.

At Field Mill a penalty awarded after just 41 seconds set them on their path for only a second away win in 2015.

Matt Tubbs would net from the spot, while Ritchie Sutton received his marching orders as a punishment.

Jed Wallace’s 17th goal of the season doubled the advantage in the second half, before Jack Thomas pulled one back.

But caretaker boss Waddock’s side held on to claim victory in their penultimate match.

Regardless, Pompey have still picked up a pitiful 18 points from a possible 69 on their travels.

And that record has applied the brakes to any realistic ambition of climbing out of the bottom 
division.

Waddock said: ‘It’s nice to get a victory, it is obviously our last away fixture of this campaign and we spoke to them earlier in the day saying “Let’s get a win for our final one”.

‘I don’t know the reason behind our away form overall.

‘You look around the dressing room and see what’s in there and it shouldn’t be like that.

‘If we had the answer to that we would have had a few more away results and victories, but it hasn’t been that this year.

‘It has been difficult, yet on Saturday we finished on a high.

‘If we had improved our away form we would be in a much healthier position, so we are disappointed with our results this season. It’s something that needs to be addressed going into next season that’s for sure.

‘Saturday showed we don’t make it too easy for ourselves, but I thought we controlled the game for long periods and overall I was pleased.

‘Mansfield did well, sometimes it is difficult to play against 10 men, it can be a lot harder to try to break them down, but I thought during the first half we moved the ball extremely well, were comfortable in possession and dominated.

‘In the second half Mansfield did really, really well and you have got to give credit to their manager and their coaching team to be able to put on a performance like that.’

Conceding early goals has been a feature of Pompey’s away results this season.

Yet it was an entirely different story against the Stags.

Waddock added: ‘I was pleased to get an early start in our favour for a change instead of trying to climb a mountain. Normally we concede early on, but Saturday was the other way around.

‘If he was the last defender the letter of the law says he has to be sent off.

‘It was a confident penalty from Matt and that allowed us to get a position in the first half to dominate.

‘Jed’s goal was struck really well, but the pitch was rock hard and that was the crucial part as the ball bounced before the keeper.’