No excuses for Derby display, admits Pompey midfielder

Hayden Mullins.  Picture: Steve Reid (113858-567)
Hayden Mullins. Picture: Steve Reid (113858-567)
Brett Pitman. Picture: Robin Jones

Southend v Pompey: pre-match talking points

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Hayden Mullins assessed the wreckage of the first-half collapse at Derby and admitted: There are no excuses.

The midfielder refused to blame Pompey’s 3-1 loss at Pride Park on their lack of manager.

The search for Steve Cotterill’s successor is continuing today following the disappointing defeat.

Sean O’Driscoll was at the game on Saturday, according to reports.

The former Doncaster bosscontinues to lead the race for the vacant Blues post.

And if he was in the crowd at Pride Park, he would have seen Pompey ship three goals in the first 33 minutes as Nigel Clough’s side ran riot.

Mullins quickly dismissed the suggestion uncertainly about the managerial position contributed to the team’s downfall, though.

He said: ‘It’s disappointing but there’s no doubt we only have ourselves to blame.

‘The manager situation is a question for the people at the top.

‘I think they are looking at the candidates, taking their time and trying to appoint the right man.

‘It’s down to them but there are no excuses on our part.

‘In the past couple of games we’ve done well without a manager.

‘So the fact we’ve lost is not down to not having a manager.

‘The lack of application from us and the fact Derby played well is why we lost.

‘We can’t use the lack of manager as an excuse.

‘The fact we didn’t start well and let goals in quickly was the reason.’

The defeat at Derby means Pompey’s winless run on the road continues.

That now covers an 11-game period stretching back to the success at Leicester in March.

It’s five straight away losses on the bounce, too, ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace tomorrow.

Mullins praised caretaker duo Guy Whittingham and Stuart Gray for the jobs they had done.

He insisted the fault for the loss lied in the players’ execution rather than how they were prepared.

Mullins said: ‘All the players have taken to Guy and Stuart and responded brilliantly to what they want to do.

‘They’ve taken the job on well.

‘We had two wins and went to Ipswich and played brilliantly.

‘Derby got off to a flier. If you are 3-0 down after half an hour it’s always going to be difficult.

‘We came with a game plan to start well and be tight. Obviously it didn’t work.

‘We were tactically prepared and physically right, so there are no excuses.

‘Any kind of result would have been good after the Doncaster win.

‘But we didn’t create much and got what we deserved.’