Devera: Fitness not results for Pompey

Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler
Lee Bowyer.

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Joe Devera shrugged off the significance of an Ebbsfleet defeat and insisted: It’s all about fitness.

Pompey suffered their first defeat of the pre-season with a 3-0 loss against the Conference South side at the weekend.

Charlie Sheringham – son of former Blues striker Teddy – netted twice, while Billy Bricknell grabbed the other in the well-deserved win for Steve Brown’s side.

It was a highly-disappointing display from Andy Awford’s men, especially considering their performances in the previous summer fixtures.

Devera, though, has stressed the importance of bolstering their fitness rather than results.

And the central defender remained unconcerned over a surprise loss at the hands of Ebbsfleet.

He said: ‘It’s not really about Ebbsfleet, it is all about us.

‘I think it was a big test of our fitness, we have pushed it, 62 minutes for a lot of us who haven’t played that long so far in the pre-season.

‘That is something I think we can take out of that game.

‘Ebbsfleet deserved to win, the result showed that, but I think the first half-an-hour we looked the better team and should maybe have scored a few goals.

‘We should have defended a bit better but it was about fitness for us.

‘We haven’t come into this game 100 per cent fresh, we have been training very hard all week and the preparation will be completely different for a league game.

‘We have trained well and morale’s great. Even after losing 3-0 we will be picked up and have Bournemouth tomorrow and are looking forward towards that now.’

Devera was matched with Ben Chorley in the centre of defence in Awford’s starting line-up.

The pair were replaced by Jack Whatmough and Johnny Ertl on the 62-minute mark and the former Swindon man was pleased with his latest work out.

He added: ‘Personally I feel alright, anything more than 62 minutes may have been difficult but we are getting there with our fitness.

‘Now it’s onto Bournemouth and we’re getting to where we should be heading into the league start.’