Portsmouth skipper's verdict on role Jackett's absence had on Bristol Rovers debacle

Tom Naylor fumed at Pompey’s Bristol Rovers capitulation and admitted: There’s no excuses.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 6:00 am
Tom Naylor in action against Bristol Rovers' San Nicholson (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The Blues skipper made it clear his team can’t use Kenny Jackett’s absence as a reason for falling to a 3-1 loss to a side in freefall last night.

Rovers hadn’t won in 10 games, but brushed their opponents aside with superior physicality and determination at the Memorial Stadium.

The build-up to the game has been dominated by concerns over Jackett’s health, after it was announced he’s to step back from front-line managerial duties.

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Jackett was not at the game last night with surgery scheduled for tomorrow, and it was an insipid showing from his team in his absence.

But Naylor was not accepting the recent upheaval as a valid reason for Pompey’s showing.

He said: ‘There’s no two ways about it: that wasn’t good enough.

‘There’s no excuses. It wasn’t good enough.

‘We all hold our hands up and accept that wasn’t acceptable.

‘We all know we should have performed better than that.

‘It was a performance which just wasn’t us.

‘After we went 1-0 up we weren’t at it.

‘I thought the first half wasn’t us. We weren’t strong enough.

‘They were stronger than us everywhere on the pitch, and that’s not like us.

‘We gave them two goals - goals we shouldn’t have conceded.

‘We’ve been solid in recent games but that just wasn’t us.

‘In the second half I felt we responded quite well, got it down and played but then their third goal is crucial.

‘We said at half-time we had to get the next goal, but they got it and that was disappointing.'

Last night’s defeat leaves Pompey fourth in the table after results went their way at the top over the weekend.

They still remain in the heart of the battle to reach the Championship, but it was the evidence on the pitch which offered a damning indictment of their promotion aspirations.

And Naylor knows there is no leeway for a repeat if they are to taste success this term.

He added: ‘We said at full-time we can’t have performances like that if we are to go up.

‘So we need to stick together because it’s wide open still and there’s a long way to go.

‘If we want to get promotion we need to make better decisions and put in better performances on the pitch.

‘The opportunity is still there - the chance is still there to take.’