DANNY HOLLANDS could not hide his frustration as Pompey’s hope of a play-off charge stalled last night.
The 2-2 draw against struggling Cheltenham saw Andy Awford’s side miss out on the chance of cutting the gap to the top seven to six points.
It’s a frustrating result. It’s been a frustrating season.Danny Hollands
Poor defending saw the Blues fall behind after Matt Tubbs’ early opener.
But Ryan Taylor pulled his side level before half-time as the strike duo took their collective total to 12 goals in 10 games.
Pompey failed to break down the Robins – who went into the game with a single win in 12 – after the interval, though.
Hollands, who wore the captain’s armband in Paul Robinson’s absence, delivered an honest appraisal of the outcome.
He said: ‘It’s frustrating.
‘It’s a frustrating result and it has been a frustrating season.
‘Once we got back to level terms you would’ve thought we would push on. It didn’t happen.
‘The goals are preventable.
‘We’ve gone in front and then conceded straightaway.
‘Then they score again and both of the goals could have been stopped.
‘Whether it’s a good point or bad point we won’t be able to tell until the end of the season.
‘Now it makes it more important to go and get a positive result on Saturday.
‘But, with more possession, we should have done more.
‘It’s frustrating as a whole.
‘They came with a game plan and it worked.
‘But, frustratingly for us, we weren’t good enough in the final third and the goals were preventable.’
With nine games left, Pompey still have to bridge an eight-point gap if they are to extend their season beyond May 2.
It looks a testing challenge but Hollands remembers the powerful form at the end of the last campaign, which saw the Blues win five and draw two of their last seven games.
He said: ‘We have to be confident we can now go to Wimbledon and win.
‘We have to look forward and move up the league.
‘If you look at things, the form has been good in recent months.
‘We have been creating chances, getting results and scoring goals.
‘Has it come too late or not? I’m not sure.
‘But things are turning and one defeat in 11 shows that. That’s a positive. We have moved forward.
‘Before that, things weren’t clicking for whatever reason.
‘Our form is good and we have to take it one game at a time because you don’t know what could happen in this league.
‘We can’t give up now because things could still change.
‘We showed last month and at the end of last season what we can achieve.
‘If anyone needs encouragement they can look back to that.
‘It’s fresh in people’s minds and achievable.’