Hreidarsson leaps to support of Ashdown

Adel Taarabt's shot squirms from Jamie Ashdown's grasp as Aaron Mokoena looks on
Adel Taarabt's shot squirms from Jamie Ashdown's grasp as Aaron Mokoena looks on
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From left to right: Jamal Lowe, Adam May, Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke after Pompey's loss to Blackpool. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 0 Blackpool 2: they said what?

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Hermann Hreidarsson leapt to the defence of Jamie Ashdown after his QPR gaffe cost Pompey dear.

Ashdown’s spillage sent the league leaders on the way to a 2-0 win at Loftus Road last night.

Adel Taarabt’s speculative 35-yarder slipped through the keeper’s grasp and trickled over the line after 59 minutes. That set Steve Cotterill’s side back after a fine display against the Londoners.

Clint Hill’s header with 17 minutes remaining sealed the win for Neil Warnock’s men.

The mistake was a rare one from Ashdown, who has been one of Pompey’s most impressive and consistent performers this season.

Hreidarsson was quick to back the keeper, whose saves this term have often kept Pompey in games.

He said: ‘Jamie shouldn’t have to take any blame because he has looked after us the whole season.

‘A keeper will have a ricket from time to time.

‘It wasn’t a disaster. It was a bouncing ball and Jamie normally makes that look so easy.

‘Of course he is disappointed but that is a keeper’s job.

‘If a keeper makes a mistake it normally ends up in the back of the net.’

Pompey carved out a number of chances as their winless run stretched to nine games.

Greg Halford had an early opportunity and then had a thunderous free-kick saved by Paddy Kenny.

Jonathan Hogg, David Nugent and Nadir Ciftci all had further chances after the break but the Blues couldn’t convert any of them.

That meant the result was a disappointing one but Hreidarsson believes the performance gives cause for optimism.

He said: ‘We kept going after the goal.

‘I still felt like we were going to score.

‘We opened them up and we created good chances.

‘The keeper made good saves as well.

‘We had four or five decent chances to get goals and they had a couple. It’s harsh on us. We have lost the game but created chances.

‘You always look at the performance first and foremost.

‘If the effort is there you take that. Everyone could see the effort was there.

‘It’s disappointing but you can’t be judging the team on that result. The performance was good.’

The latest loss leaves Pompey just four points clear of the Championship drop zone.

Hreidarsson insisted that falling out of the English game’s second tier is not on the Blues squad’s mind, however.

He said: ‘We are still looking ahead of us in the table.

‘We still believe and there is a great team spirit.

‘The players still believe and the players showed what they can do.

‘If we play like this all the time we will win more than we lose.’