Awford: Blues must learn lesson

John-Joe OToole, right, is consoled by team-mate David Buchanan at the final whistle at Fratton Park  Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

Pompey midfielder: No blame game over freak injury

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Andy Awford believes his side must learn how to play against teams with a similar approach to Newport if Pompey are to prosper this season.

The Welsh club’s physical and direct playing style made it hard for the Blues to get into their usual rhythm as they slumped to a first defeat of the new League Two season in the 1-0 loss.

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But despite the disappointment, Awford feels his men will learn from the experience.

He said: ‘Of course, it’s disappointing to lose the game.

‘Newport came with a gameplan and they frustrated us.

‘But we had two fantastic chances.

‘Ryan Taylor and Craig Westcarr both had good opportunities to score and we hoped it would be more.

‘In previous games, when we have had chances, we’ve taken them.

‘Not this time unfortunately.

‘That’s not a criticism of Ryan or Craig. They have both scored good goals this season.

‘The goals will come – we know that.

‘But I would have hoped we would have created a little bit more than we did.

‘As the game wore on, we were always wary of them scoring from a set-piece and that’s what happened.

‘We’re not going to be able to just turn up here every time and play free-flowing football.

‘Teams will come here and frustrate us.

‘It’s difficult to break them down and we have to make sure we are better equipped for that next time.’