Kitson: Pompey are playing with more freedom

Dave Kitson battles with Ipswich's Danny Collins at Portman Road last night
Dave Kitson battles with Ipswich's Danny Collins at Portman Road last night
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Dion Donohue and Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Dave Kitson believes Pompey are playing without pressure following Steve Cotterill’s departure.

The Blues fell to a 1-0 loss at Ipswich last night, despite delivering a performance which warranted at least a point at Portman Road.

A host of chances were carved out by the visitors and even home boss Paul Jewell admitted Pompey were much the better side.

Kitson feels a relaxed approach from the temporary management pair of Guy Whittingham and Stuart Gray is paying off.

And that has bred a new unity among the squad Cotterill built.

Kitson said: ‘We played for each other out there.

‘We’re not playing with any pressure. I think you can see that in the way we played last night.

‘We really took the game to Ipswich. We worked them off the pitch.

‘It may be unfair on Steve but there was a togetherness there (last night) that wasn’t before.

‘I think it’s been brought about by Steve’s departure.

‘As much as we all tried our hardest for him when he was here, it’s a different style of management.

‘It seems to suit us a little bit more.

‘It’s early days – it’s only been two games – but that’s how it feels. I can only say how it feels.

‘We seem to be playing with a bit less pressure on us and are a bit more free to play balls we wouldn’t have played.

‘Steve went with everyone’s best wishes but sometimes a change is good for a club.

‘It can be good for a club, good for a team and good for players.’

Kitson believes the quality of the display delivered by Pompey last night represents a high-water mark this season.

The 31-year-old former Reading striker was restored to the starting XI for the first time since the end of August.

And he impressed up top alongside Luke Varney in a 4-4-2 formation.

Kitson feels the opportunities were created for the Blues to have picked up their second win on the bounce.

He said: ‘It’s probably the best we’ve played this season – certainly away from home.

‘People seeing the result will not see the story of this game.

‘We had our chances and we are at fault for not taking them.

‘If we did, we’d have won by two or three goals.

‘There was one for me where I had to stick a leg out. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t.

‘We had possibly four clear-cut chances to score and a lot of stuff flashing around the box.

‘It should have been more than enough to win the game.’