POMPEY have been told: We need to be more ruthless.
Stand-in skipper Ben Davies warned his side they can’t afford to be so wasteful with chances if they are to be League Two title contenders.
Davies felt profligacy was a major factor in the Blues losing their unbeaten start to the season against Exeter City last night.
Pompey carved out 14 shots on goal to the Grecians’ five and had nearly 70 per cent of possession.
But it was Paul Tisdale’s side who took a 2-1 win with their goals coming from counter-attacks.
Davies felt his side deserved a return from the game – but have to be more clinical in their work in the final third.
He said: ‘I think we deserved something from the way we’ve played but we’ve got done by two sucker punches.
‘We had enough chances to win two or three games, so the defeat is disappointing.
‘It was frustrating night. We should have won the game.
‘We could have been out of sight in the first 15 minutes.
‘The keeper made some great saves but we have to be more ruthless.
‘It’s one of those nights but we have to take our chances.
‘We’d have won comfortably if we’d done that.’
Pompey set a powerful early pace as they looked to topple the nine-game unbeaten start produced by Harry Redknapp’s Division One winners in 2002.
Two chances fell to Gareth Evans along with opportunities for Jayden Stockley and Conor Chaplin early on.
But it was Exeter who took the lead through David Wheeler after 20 minutes.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the start of the first with the Blues on the front foot.
They were caught again, however, by Arron Davies.
Pompey’s Davies felt his team’s control would get them back into the game.
He took solace from his belief the performance warranted a return.
Davies said: ‘We were thinking we were going to score any minute.
‘If we’d gone 1-0 up we’d have been okay.
‘You do wonder if it’s going to come back to haunt you. Then we got done on the first one.
‘It wasn’t to be but I still felt we were going to come back.
‘It was one of those nights where nothing fell for us and chance after chance went begging.
‘If we’d lost and not created anything and been all over the shop there would have been nothing to take forward.
‘But we played okay and had the chances to win the game.
‘It’s gone now, so we have to go to the Yeovil game and get going again.’
Pompey now have picked up eight points at Fratton Park compared to 11 on the road this season in the league.
Davies feels getting the first goal at home is the key to improving that form. That has only happened in the 3-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge in the league this season.
Davies said: ‘Teams are setting up the same whether it’s home or away.
‘It’s important to try to get the first goal, especially at Fratton Park.
‘Look what happened on the first day of the season against Dagenham when that happened.’