Cotterill: Pompey are in for a rocky ride

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill
Pompey boss Steve Cotterill
Pompey captain Brett Pitman Piccture: Joe Pepler

Pompey verdict: Individual errors, dips in form and poor decisions made

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Steve Cotterill predicted some tricky moments for the remainder of Pompey’s season and admitted: We’re in for a rocky ride.

The Blues boss saw David Nugent lash home a dramatic last-minute leveller against Derby.

The former Preston striker’s effort cancelled out Steve Davies’ first-half opener as the Blues snatched a point from a game that looked to be heading for a morale-sapping defeat.

But Cotterill expects to face plenty of tough times between now and the end of the campaign in May as he tries to patch up a threadbare squad lacking in confidence after a poor run of results.

Cotterill said: ‘When you’re not high on confidence, lads stop going in there and sticking their neck on the line because they are fearful of missing a chance.

‘We’ve probably got a bit of that about us at the moment.

‘We need a goal or two to go in off someone’s backside and give us a bit of confidence again. When you haven’t won for a while, it plays on your mind.

‘Unfortunately, the players who are still here are suffering because of the lack of numbers to back them up.

‘It’s not an ideal situation and it could be a rocky ride until the end of the season.

‘We have just to make the most of the up times.’

Pompey’s fortunes have fluctuated wildly this season.

After a dreadful start to the campaign and the impressive resurgence in the autumn, they have now gone 10 games without a win.

But Cotterill was pleased with the gritty determination shown by his men to get back into the game against Derby in the dying minutes.

He said: ‘It’s hard to put a positive on the run we’re on but we need to try to search for them to keep us going.

‘The character they showed late in the game was great.

‘It was very difficult because the wind was shocking and ruined the game.

‘We have games called off for snow, rain, frozen pitches but we never have a game called off because of strong wind and it’s the worst one of the lot – it ruins everything.

‘There were two great goals but not a lot in between, I’m afraid.

‘But when you don’t start a game very well – or the game is not very good – the hardest thing to do is to turn that into a good performance.

‘So the lads shouldn’t under-estimate the character they have shown to get back into that game.

‘It would have been easy for them to have gone under but they haven’t done that.

‘It was the type of fighting character we need to show all season.’