PERRY NORTHEAST had no complaints after Pompey Ladies suffered semi-final heartbreak in the Premier League Cup.
The Blues were floored as their 20-game unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-0 loss to Sheffield on Sunday.
The visitors took control of the game after a goalless first half at Cams Alders.
Northeast admitted the defeat was hard to take at the semi-final stage, but felt it was a fair outcome.
He said: ‘I’m obviously very disappointed – it’s a league cup semi-final!
‘Losing in a semi-final is one of the worst ways to lose a game in football.
‘We reflected on our performance after the match and realised perhaps Sheffield were the deserved winners.
‘It was a close game throughout.
‘We went in 0-0 at half-time, with both sides having chances.
‘Sheffield got the early lead and they defended readily against the girls.
‘But had it gone the other way and we’d got the early lead, then I would have backed our defence.
‘Although Sheffield deserved the game on the day, if we are to play them again, I don’t think any one of the players wouldn’t feel confident in getting the right result next time.
‘We couldn’t really pinpoint a player who had a horrendous performance, as no-one stood out as having a bad game.
‘We were just okay as a team and to win a big cup game you need more than just okay.’
Now Pompey face another testing knockout clash this Sunday.
They meet Women’s Super League outfit Millwall Lionesses in the FA Cup fourth round.
The match will provide a test of character for the side – one Northeast feels his team will be ready for.
‘The challenge now is to immediately bounce back,’ the manager added.
‘Sometimes a defeat in the manner that we got beaten helps.
‘At training everyone will be that slightly more focused, on their toes and with that drive to win.
‘Our main focus is obviously to be top of the league.
‘But a good run in the FA Cup always stands you in good stead as well.
‘We’ve still got to play Cardiff City who are in pole position – we’re just four points behind.
‘When playing league games we’ve got to keep doing what we’ve been doing all season.
‘It’s going to be really tight until the end – we can’t afford to slip up.
‘Different players each week step up to the plate so, as long as that continues, I feel that I’ve got the players of the right calibre to play these Super League opposition.
‘We’ll just have to see how it goes.’