KENNY JACKETT has called on Pompey to demonstrate a more streetwise approach in their performances.
And he has criticised instances of ‘naivety’ during last night’s 3-1 defeat at Northampton.
Sloppy defending and poor finishing contributed to a frustrating loss for the visitors at a rain-swept Sixfields.
Jackett’s men were impressive at times during the second half having returned after the interval 2-0 down.
They certainly showed some good attacking play and Matty Kennedy caught the eye with another impressive contribution.
However, they still slipped to a defeat underpinned by three poor goals conceded, with Luke McGee attracting criticism.
For Pompey’s boss, though, there remains naivety issues he believes require eradicating.
Jackett said: There was a lot enthusiasm, which was good, a lot of quality play and we created a lot of chances.
‘I don’t want to dampen that, but for us to win at this level we must be more streetwise.
‘Last night I felt there was naivety in our play, despite no lack of enthusiasm or energy going forward.
‘The goalkeeper (Luke McGee) kicks into a wide-left area where the wide-left player (Matty Kennedy) is off getting a drink. It was a poor kick, but the player shouldn’t have left.
‘Adam May has come off with a nose bleed. You don’t run off a football pitch and leave yourselves down to 10-men even for a short space of time.
‘You either wait for the referee to say you have to go off or you go down, but you stay on the pitch, you keep it to 11 and keep your shape.
‘They are two incidents in the second half where people decide to wander off to the side of the pitch and it’s that naivety which cost us.’
Kennedy’s 49th minute goal was all the Blues had to show during some promising second-half moments.
Jamal Lowe missed two glorious chances, while keeper Matt Ingram produced two excellent late stops from Stuart O’Keefe and Christian Burgess.
And Jackett was disappointed his team were unable to make such openings count.
They were the dominant force in the match in terms of chances created and shots
He added: ‘We had more shots and more chances.
‘In fact, it was probably as many shots and chances as we have created in a single game - but I suppose each game is different.’
– NEIL ALLEN