Jackett: Pompey handed lesson in costly margins

Conor Chaplin and Oliver Hawkins. Pompey v Rotherham. League One. Sunday, September 3. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin and Oliver Hawkins. Pompey v Rotherham. League One. Sunday, September 3. Picture: Joe Pepler
Connor Ronan. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Kenny Jackett believes his new-look Pompey side were given a harsh lesson in costly margins as they slumped to defeat against Rotherham.

The Blues came away empty-handed in front of the Sky Sports cameras as they fell to a 1-0 loss to the Millers at Fratton Park.

Paul Warne’s side picked up their first away win in a whopping 28 games – a run spanning 512 days – through Jon Taylor’s first-half goal.

It also made it six games without a win for Jackett’s men since the 2-0 opening-day success over Rochdale.

The Pompey boss handed debuts to four new faces with no one in his starting line-up or on the bench above the age of 30.

The hosts were poor in the first half but had decent chances to level and a strong appeal for a penalty turned down after the restart.

Jackett is comfortable with how his side looks defensively but knows they need to build going forward if they are to start picking up wins.

He said: ‘It’s a new division and a new team.

‘We needed to freshen up but we want to develop quickly.

‘We want to bed the team in and build a consistency.

‘In the first half, we lacked fluency and couldn’t use the width or get the ball wide.

‘We started okay but Rotherham got on top of us, particularly in midfield.

‘It was tight and a close game. Every single one of our games has been like that. I know that Rotherham’s have been the same.

‘We want to be creating more than we have.

‘If you look at our goals-against record and generally, with Clarke and Thompson back and the start of our keeper who looks comfortable at the level, I feel confident at the back.

‘We just have to find the right equation going forward.

‘There is a need to create more chances and score more goals. That will help us without a doubt.’

Jackett felt the chances for Jamal Lowe either side of half-time were his side’s clearest efforts on goal.

And he was adamant the boot Ollie Hawkins took in the head from Michael Ihiekwe should have been a spot-kick.

Jackett took solace from the efforts of his new faces.

He added: ‘There were two good chances either side of the interval from Jamal Lowe.

‘Then there was a penalty decision we didn’t get.

‘I’ve seen it again. In a tight game, it’s a talking point. It did look like a penalty.

‘Hawkins was bandaged up but was feeling dizzy afterwards so he had to come off.

‘Jamal got some balls in and probably (Matty) Kennedy was where our major threat was. There were 45 minutes for him and he looks to have assists in him.

‘I felt O’Keefe came into it more and started picking a lot more second balls up.

‘Thompson is a versatile player and helped shore up the right-hand side.

‘Hawkins had a decent debut overall and looked a threat.’