Naylor: Below-par Portsmouth didn’t miss Ben Thompson

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Tom Naylor surveyed Pompey’s abject loss to Blackpool and insisted: We didn’t miss Ben Thompson.

On Saturday, the Blues turned in their worst performance of a League One campaign which still sees them top the table.

Ben Thompson celebrates the FA Cup victory over Norwich on his last appearance for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Thompson celebrates the FA Cup victory over Norwich on his last appearance for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Fratton faithful were intrigued to see how their team would fare following Thompson’s Millwall recall.

The outcome was Gareth Evans unsuccessfully asked to serve as a holding midfielder in a 1-0 defeat to the Tangerines.

Yet there were poor displays across the pitch, with a lethargic and below-par showing from Kenny Jackett’s side.

Man of the match Naylor acknowledges the quality of the much-missed Thompson.

But he refused to use that crucial absence as a reason for a maiden loss of 2019.

He said: ‘Obviously Thommo is a great player and the impact he had on us when he was playing was a miss, but we have a great squad here.

‘It’s not about one person coming out and one person coming in, we are a team and if someone gets the opportunity then they have to take it.

‘I don’t want to say we missed him, I just think we didn’t have the chances at all.

‘One player doesn’t make a team. There are 11 players out there and we also have a bench more than capable of doing things in a game, but it just wasn’t our day and we go again.

‘Thommo was unbelievable for us, he had a great spell, obviously Millwall called him back and hopefully he plays there.

‘If he doesn’t play then he might have a chance to come back, so hopefully he doesn’t play there so we can get him back!’

The sole positive for Pompey followers was the appearance of Andy Cannon.

Called off the bench for the ineffective Andre Green in the 64th minute, his arrival freed Evans to a more advanced role.

Cannon was bright and energetic on his Blues bow, having been cup-tied for the previous two matches since his arrival.

Having only trained with the club since Monday, the former Rochdale man is still getting used to his surroundings.

Likewise, his new playing colleagues are adjusting to the fresh face in the dressing room.

And Naylor admitted has been impressed with Cannon.

He added: ‘We haven't seen much of Andy in training, but he’s lively.

‘I thought he did well when he came on against Blackpool. He’s got a bit about him and did well.

‘It looks like he’s got a bit of energy, an attacking player. We’ll see how good he is over the next couple of weeks and months, I’m sure he’ll be a good signing.’