Pompey application saluted by boss after FC Utrecht draw

IT WAS the second top-flight opposition Pompey faced in five days.

Monday, 30th July 2018, 10:57 am
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 4:57 pm
Pompey defender Nathan Thompson in action against FC Utrecht. Picture: Ben Queenborough

And the Blues more than matched both sides, setting them up perfectly for the start of the League One season.

Kenny Jackett's troops drew 1-1 with Premier League outfit Bright & Hove Albion in a behind-closed-doors friendly at their American Express Elite Football Performance Centre training base on Tuesday.

And, on Saturday, Pompey's final friendly of the pre-season campaign against FC Utrecht ended with the same score.

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Pompey defender Nathan Thompson in action against FC Utrecht. Picture: Ben Queenborough

Yet it was the hosts, not their Eredivisie opponents, who dominated the majority of the clash.

Sean Klaiber opened the scoring for the Dutch side with a 30-yard thunderbolt before Anton Walkes equalised with a superb long-range strike a minute before half-time.

The Blues were the better team on the day, with Ronan Curtis and Matt Clarke both missing a number of golden chances.

And Jackett was delighted with the application his troops displayed.

The Pompey boss said: '˜We created a lot of chances. For the first 20 minutes I thought they dominated and it was hard for us to get into the game.

'They scored an excellent goal but after that we gave as good as we got.

'We created a lot of chances and could have had more than the one goal, which is always very pleasing.

'It's interesting in pre-season when you play against sides outside of your level '“ they do set you up well.

'˜And that's set us up well for the season ahead.

'˜In terms of Saturday, the application of the players was good.

'˜Our first and only pre-season game at home gave us a chance to integrate everybody and make sure the new lads are used to the surroundings.

'˜Then, hopefully, we can build build Fratton Park as a strength for us.'

Although Pompey had the lion's share of chances, it was Utrecht who started the game stronger and kept the ball well.

Yet apart from Klaiber's strike, the hosts repelled them adeptly, with keeper Craig MacGillivray only having to make one save. 

Jackett added: '˜They're going to play good football, aren't they, looking at the standard of the club.

'˜I wasn't concentrating on them too much, although we are appreciative of them coming over and we recognised their quality.

'˜But for us it was about working towards our league season.'