Portsmouth boss rues costly ‘soft’ defending

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Kenny Jackett criticised ‘soft’ goals for Pompey’s failure to defeat Burton.

The League One leaders were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw in last night’s Fratton Park encounter with Nigel Clough’s side.

Jamie Allen delivers the cross for Burton's equaliser last night. Picture: Carl Thomas

Jamie Allen delivers the cross for Burton's equaliser last night. Picture: Carl Thomas

It appeared the Blues were firmly in control after heading into the interval 1-0 up following Oli Hawkins’ opener.

Yet two goals in four minutes – provided by substitute Devante Cole and Jake Hesketh – shortly after the restart turned the match on its head.

Pompey did level on 57 minutes through Matt Clarke’s header from Gareth Evans’ corner, but there was to be no match winner.

And Jackett was frustrated with the nature of both the Brewers’ goals.

He said: ‘We are obviously disappointed defensively with the goals, it was slightly out of character for us, particularly the second one where he went past three or four people.

‘We have talked a lot about the quality, particularly the quality of Liam Boyce, Will Miller and Jamie Allen down that left side, and Cole’s goal was presented on a plate where we’re not tight enough in the box.

‘But then the second goal is particularly disappointing because he has gone past three or four players quite easily.

‘Burton have some players with a lot of quality and you could see in their build-up play that they looked threatening.

‘As the game wore on, while we were on top, they always looked like they have Championship quality and didn’t need many chances to score. The higher you go up the leagues, that's more the case.

‘We accept the point and move on and must make sure we eradicate the soft goals.

‘We always talk about zeros and ones are where we want to be defensively and conceding two goals at home isn’t what we want to do. We must have a look at that.’

Pompey had 33 minutes to win an often pulsating second half, yet couldn’t find the breakthrough.

They demonstrated drive and a positive approach, albeit without testing Burton’s keeper sufficiently to suggest it could be another Blues win.

And Jackett admitted it didn’t quite go his team’s way in pursuit of that crucial match-deciding goal.

He added: ‘To be fair, it either wouldn't quite fall for us in the box or we were looking to sidestep someone.

‘There were three very good balls in the second half and although we had men in the box it didn't quite fall.

‘We are just looking for that decision to go for us in that period, in a period where we played well and in which our response was good.’