Whittingham looks on the bright side

Pompey's caretaker bosses Guy Whittingham, right, and Stuart Gray
Pompey's caretaker bosses Guy Whittingham, right, and Stuart Gray
Pompey suffered defeat at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss pledges to resolve defensive issues

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Guy Whittingham reflected on last night’s Portman Road defeat and insisted: That was our best display of the season.

The impressive Blues were undone by Keith Andrews’ 69th-minute close-range strike.

It was so harsh on the visitors, who dominated for long periods and spurned plenty of opportunities to net.

Even the Tractor Boys’ manager Paul Jewell admitted Pompey were comfortably the better side.

The Blues have made a habit of being a second-half team during the campaign so far.

But in Whittingham’s eyes, the Ipswich performance was the most complete 90 minutes of the season.

And the joint-caretaker manager was at a loss to explain how they managed to finish up nursing a 1-0 loss.

He said: ‘Football can be a cruel game.

‘I am sure we have all said that before and we’ll say that again.

‘That’s the game of football, that’s what happens.

‘I think that is probably the best 90 minutes we have played all season.

‘We knew it was going to be tough.

‘Ipswich haven’t lost in five – won three, drawn two – playing well, scoring goals, goals all over the pitch.

‘So we knew what sort of game it was going to be.

‘That game plan worked well, all apart from scoring goals.

‘We will sit and reflect and in a few days time think what a great performance it was. But at the moment we are totally disappointed because we have lost the game.

‘Still, credit to the players.

‘The games come thick and fast, so you don’t really get much time to work on the practice pitch but you talk to the players, show them things, have the prep for it.

‘We just re-emphasised the dangers Ipswich have got and the players carried that out really well.’

For Ipswich, it was a fourth successive victory on home soil and extended their unbeaten run to six games.

After an awful start, they are now climbing the table – currently sitting sixth.

But Jewell admitted his side got lucky last night.

He added: ‘I should be wearing a mask.

‘Last year we murdered them and lost 2-0. Last night we were basically hopeless.

‘Portsmouth were the better side but we kept working, rode our luck and desire got us through.

‘It would have been a decent result for us if we’d drawn 0-0.

‘Portsmouth are a big side and they caused us problems.

‘Sometimes as a manager, results like that are as satisfying as when you play really well, though.

‘It gives us confidence that when we’re not at our best we can get dig in, get our blocks in and win ugly.’