Jackett: Defensive gaffes wrecking Pompey play-off hopes

John Marquis scores against Pompey. Picture: Joe PeplerJohn Marquis scores against Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
John Marquis scores against Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kenny Jackett believes Pompey's defensive lapses are killing their play-off hopes.

The Blues boss is frustrated at the continuing run of avoidable goals being shipped by his side.

Jackett thought both efforts shipped in the 2-2 draw with Doncaster on Saturday were preventable.

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James Coppinger’s fourth-minute opener went through bodies and keeper Stephen Henderson after the initial shot was blocked.

Then, for the second week on the bounce, Pompey were poorly organised from a corner to allow John Marquis to head home in the 63rd minute.

Jackett said: ‘If you were a neutral you’d say it was a cracking game because both teams went for it.

‘Both teams looked dangerous and had their spells, but by half-time we were well on top.

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‘At the start of the second half it was the same, but the goal deflated us. A few final balls didn’t happen in that period going into our fans.

‘Then there was the big finale with our keeper going off, the subs used and the sending off, which was a tough one.

‘That put us down to 10 and then nine men, so we did fantastically well to see it out.

‘But our goals against column has to be better. That’s nine games without a clean sheet now.

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‘While we’re all looking to attack, get good control and score goals it’s going to be hard for us if we’re defensively like that.

‘Before this game we were just five points off the play-offs, that’s how close it is.

‘We have good defenders, so we need to be keeping more clean sheets than we have. This particularly has cost us - and that was the case against Doncaster as well.

Despite his defensive disappointment, Jackett can see enough quality from his team in the other direction.

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But the draw with Darren Ferguson’s side meant Pompey missed the chance to close the gap to the play-offs to three points.

‘There was some good play and good performances as well.

‘There’s a lot to base it on. There’s a lot to base it on going forward.

‘We’re not a side that’s struggling or devoid of confidence. But we do need to make that stretch where we are into the top six.’

Jackett made four changes from the side who lost to Shrewsbury - including a fine debut from Anton Walkes. The Spurs loanee responded with a goal on his first Pompey appearance.

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Jackett said: ‘A goal on your debut helps. He looked comfortable at right-back and we’re pleased with his debut and performance.

‘There was a lot of emphasis on both full-backs with the way Doncaster play.

Pompey will now be without Christian Burgess after he was sent off in stoppage time for handball as he battled with John Marquis – a decision Jackett didn’t agree with.

He said: ‘It’s tough with John Marquis. He’s a good centre-forward and a player I know well.

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‘He challenges for every ball, so to send him off for handball was where it was after that particular challenge. We have to accept the referee’s decision because you can’t appeal two yellows – but I was surprised.’