Lack of marksman has hurt us

Pompey's Brett Pitman celebrates after scoring his second goal in their 2-0 win at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

Oldham 0 Pompey 2: they said what?

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Michael Appleton admits Pompey do not possess a goalscorer in their ranks.

The Blues boss knows his team lack a man with a killer instinct in front of goal at present, following a run of a single goal in their past five games.

Top-scorer Erik Huseklepp, with six goals to his name, last week departed for Birmingham to exacerbate Appleton’s problems on that front.

Appleton said a glance at the league goalscoring charts tells you all you need to know.

He said: ‘We haven’t got a goalscorer – it’s as simple as that. The goalscoring table doesn’t lie. I think there were 20 names on it and the bottom of that was players with nine goals.

‘Most clubs had two players up there or even if they only had one, he would be beyond the 10-goal mark.

‘We’ve got two players on five and one on six who we had to let go on loan to Birmingham.

‘We haven’t got a goalscorer in the side at the minute, which makes it difficult.’

Appleton is keeping his fingers crossed that the return of Luke Varney, who has been sidelined since December, will give Pompey the cutting edge they have been missing.

He said: ‘We are lucky that we’ve got a couple of players coming back from injury and, hopefully, they will give us a better quota in terms of goalscoring.

‘We have to believe that it will start turning and the luck will change.

‘Whether that is the ball going in off someone’s backside or knee just to kick-start someone – whatever it may be, it will happen if you keep believing and keep working hard.

‘The minute you start feeling sorry for yourself, that’s when it won’t happen.’