Pompey boss: We should have made chances count

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett bemoaned his side's failure to make their impressive first-half count against Chelsea under-21s.

Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 5:30 am
Oli Hawkins went close for Pompey on several occasions against Chelsea under-21s. Picture: Joe Pepler PPP-180901-202902006

A bright opening 45 minutes saw visiting keeper Marcin Bulka pull off several saves to keep the dominant hosts at bay in last night’s Checkatrade Trophy clash.

Jackett’s men would have been disappointed at entering the break goalless.

It was Chelsea’s Charly Musonda who broke the deadlock on 58 minutes, although substitute Brett Pitman netted a stoppage-time leveller.

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Then Musonda grabbed the winner from a free-kick following a counter-attack.

And Jackett was left to question Pompey’s inability to take advantage of their early pressure.

He said: ‘We caused them problems in the opening 45 minutes and even in the second half had spells when we were on top, but you need to put the ball in the net.

‘That’s the thing and while sides are alive it can turn against you. Despite quite a dominant display we didn’t do enough in front of goal to put them away.

‘We perhaps didn’t get the shots in or were unable to beat the goalkeeper – and when we did work him he stood up to it.

‘We had a high number of balls into the box and a lot of set-pieces, which we didn’t do enough with and get strikes off.

‘At half-time I told the players to keep going. I thought it would come and we had to try to be a little bit more clinical, keep working the goalkeeper, recycling the ball and concentrating at the back because they have some pace on the break.

‘Then they had a free-kick around our box – and we had many ourselves – and they made that pay.

‘It won them the game right at the death.’

The winner arrived via a break led by Callum Hudson-Odoi, with Christian Burgess forced to bring him down.

And Jackett felt the Blues should have done better in dealing with that run.

He added: ‘We kept going and got a good ball in from Matty Kennedy and to be fair a great finish from Brett, which we thought had got us penalties.

‘Then it was a quick break and we should have done better defensively or stopped it higher up in terms of an interception.

‘For us with the free-kick, we also showed him a lot of the goal and to be fair he executed it well and he took it.

‘Obviously we were looking for the winner as well and it was a very pacy break and a well-executed free-kick.’

– NEIL ALLEN