Whittingham looks to strike a balance

Pompey caretaker boss Guy Whittingham    Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey caretaker boss Guy Whittingham Picture: Joe Pepler
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

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Pompey are ready to release some defensive shackles but Guy Whittingham admitted: It’s a balancing act.

The caretaker Blues boss adopted a defensive approach in attempting to stem the flow of defeats as he went for solidity.

But after making strides in keeping the goals out at one end, Whittingham knows he must find a way to improve at the opposite end of the pitch to get Pompey firing in front of goal again.

While the ex-Blues striker will not rip up the good work that has been done in recent games, he is keen to add some extra quality to his side’s attacking as they head to Crewe tomorrow.

Whittingham said: ‘It’s a fine line. You might bring one player in to be more attack-minded but then maybe you lose that defensive side of the game.

‘The easier thing in football is to organise defensively – that’s the easier part of the game.

‘To be disciplined, be patient and getting people in the right slots is easier to do.

‘The more difficult area is scoring goals.

‘Not only are goalscorers at a premium but the players who create the goals are also at a premium.

‘That’s the area we have been trying to concentrate our efforts on without losing sight of the defensive side of things.

‘That’s an area where a lot of work still needs to be done.’

Whittingham was clearly encouraged by much of his team’s performance in the 1-1 draw with MK Dons and is looking for the same kind of team effort tomorrow.

He said: ‘I think there is a work ethic throughout the team now and that was epitomised by our first-half performance against MK Dons.

‘A lot of effort was put in and the players did exactly what was asked of them. The game plan worked well.

‘The amount of hard work and the togetherness was there. We restricted them to one shot on target and it went in.

‘We knew we had to stop them from playing out from the back and that worked.

‘Our legs went a little bit and we sat a bit deeper but I think we still defended well.

‘Crewe perhaps don’t play quite as much football as MK Dons but they still like to knock it around and we have to deal with that.’