Gaffer: Rare off-day for Pompey

Pompey fan Lewis O'Donnell, aged 22, from Waterlooville runs the rule over Pompey's loss at Shrewsbury.

Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 7:42 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 7:47 pm
Nathan Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler

• What did you make of that defeat?

I’m still optimistic after the defeat, to be honest. But a result is a result for Shrewsbury at the end of the day.

I thought we could have picked up a draw and if we’d have won it would have been something special.

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Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

However, we’ve got to remember we’re new to League One and Paul Hurst’s side have been in the division for a couple of seasons and have the team built up for it.

• Were you happy with the starting line-up?

I was pleased with Matty Kennedy coming back into the side because he needs a start.

However, he might have benefited from returning to the team on Boxing Day with the home crowd behind him.

Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

With Gareth Evans, I think he’s better playing on the wing for us rather than through the middle.

However, I would have started Conor Chaplin to play in that role, with Jamal Lowe and Evans playing out wide.

We lost the central-midfield battle and I think Kyle Bennett has lost it.

When he came on he looked a little bit out of place and seems to have lost his confidence.

Lowe also didn’t seem up for it and he had a quiet game by his high standards.

• What did you make of the goals?

You can’t make errors like that in tight games.

In all honesty, I missed the first goal! When Luke McGee had the ball in his hands I looked away because it looked safe.

Meanwhile, Matt Clarke got caught napping for their second.

I also thought the referee was diabolical.There were so many tackles that our players got booked for but they did the same and only collected one booking.

• Who was your man of the match?

It has to be Nathan Thompson, for me.

The tackles he was making were crucial and they were always at the right time.

He was the only one who wanted to play forwards from our own penalty area.

Whereas the rest of them kept going backwards.

• But it’s a good time for Pompey to bounce back to form with the game coming up?

It was a bad day at the office for us – but luckily it’s a good time of the campaign to bounce back and go again.

Games are coming thick and fast, starting with the visit of AFC Wimbledon today.

We have three games coming up so we can forget about Shrewsbury until they come to us.

• Lewis’ ratings: Luke McGee 7; Nathan Thompson 8; Christian Burgess 7; Matt Clarke 5; Brandon Haunstrup 5; Ben Close 6; Danny Rose 6; Jamal Lowe 5; Gareth Evans 5; Matty Kennedy 4; Brett Pitman 5