Pompey attack can help improve defence

Matt Clarke scores own goal against Peterborough. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke scores own goal against Peterborough. Picture: Joe Pepler
Luke McGee. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Kenny Jackett believes an improvement going forward will have a knock-on effect on Pompey’s defence.

The Blues have conceded 24 goals in all competitions this season.

Victory against Plymouth provided a welcome boost but in the recent 2-1 defeat at Peterborough United, Pompey lacked a real cutting edge in the final third.

Despite wingers Jamal Lowe and Matty Kennedy getting into dangerous positions, their final balls were short of serious quality.

The Blues were made to pay in the second half at London Road.

Jack Marriott opened the scoring before Kal Naismith inadvertently headed into his own net from Marcus Maddison’s free-kick.

Jackett feels his side have been lacking confidence going forward.

He reckons if his attacking troops start to build momentum, it will impact positively on his rearguard.

The Pompey boss said: ‘Generally, on the ball at Peterborough we didn’t do enough and that was my biggest frustration.

‘We didn’t get going – we did a bit when Conor came on and the goal was a good move.

‘But we didn’t have enough, although we were never out of the game.

‘All of our games have been tight games – I’d even still count the wins against Blackpool and Southend as tight games.

‘We’ve conceded two own goals recently – one from Hawkins and one from Naismith – in our recent goals against column.

‘Perhaps we can lack some organisation and leadership at times.

‘Perhaps that’s the case, perhaps it’s just the way it is.

‘I don’t feel that we are conceding lots of chances.

‘For the amount of shots our opponents are getting in, we are conceding too many goals.

‘If we can build some confidence on the ball and build some momentum going forward then it will affect our defending and confidence level defensively.

‘At Peterborough, our play on the ball wasn’t as good as it can be, we weren’t creative or express enough.

‘We need to get back to that because at our best we have that type of ability and enough forward players to do that.’

Jackett holds aspirations of finishing in the top 10 this season – but his troops need to find the right balance between attacking and defending.

‘We both are where we are and we’re aspiring to finish in the top half,’ he added.

‘Are we both close? Probably.

‘Are we there? No and that’s where we are at the moment. We need to get the right balance of attacking and defending, being competitive and expressive.

‘Every promotion side I have had has had that middle ground that can complete but can play.’