Woeful conditions not to blame for Pompey loss

Stuart O'Keefe makes a tackle amid worsening conditions at Ewood Park. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stuart O'Keefe makes a tackle amid worsening conditions at Ewood Park. Picture: Joe Pepler
Robert Prosinecki celebrates a goal for Pompey

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Kenny Jackett refused to blame the conditions for his team’s downfall at Blackburn.

Pompey fell to a 3-0 loss in torrential rain and strong winds at Ewood Park.

Conditions rapidly deteriorated – with the last 20 minutes played in farcical circumstances.

Surface water saw players struggling to keep their footing – as was highlighted by Craig Conway’s 90th-minute finish.

However, Jackett couldn’t accept that was a reason for his team’s demise against Tony Mowbray’s side.

He said: ‘We can’t complain about the conditions. The sub Conway ran okay with the ball for the third goal.

‘He powered past us – and we didn’t have players who powered past people and took them out of the game.

‘The conditions were no excuse whatsoever.

‘They were exactly the same for the opposition and their third goal showed that.

‘There was a little bit of head tennis and then, bang, they broke and went past us.

‘They ran with the ball and finished it okay.

‘So we can’t say that the conditions contributed to the loss.’

Although there was early promise in an even opening, Dion Donohue’s mistake paved the way for Blackburn’s opener seven minutes before the interval.

When asked if the Welshman looked like a midfielder playing out of position, Jackett said: ‘Certainly, you could look at him like that.

‘He’s got a nice left foot and he’s been okay.

‘The first goal isn’t necessarily about individuals but it’s about us learning to be better.

‘We need to be able to come to Blackburn and be better in our defending.

‘We certainly set off with a decent enough attitude.

‘We weren’t breaking too badly on the right side with (Jamal) Lowe.

‘We had some breaks and created a chance.

‘But it was a poor mistake for the first goal which opened us up.’

Jackett explained he opted to keep captain Brett Pitman on the bench, as he made his return after a knee operation.

Pitman played with a protective mask when coming on, after also having an op on his broken nose.

Pompey will assess the fitness of Luke McGee, who was limping at the end of Saturday’s defeat.

Untried Alex Bass is the first-team’s only other keeper.

Jackett said: ‘Brett’s only trained Thursday and Friday and he’s working hard to get to match fitness now.

‘Luke’s done a lot of kicking. He’s got a problem.

‘We don’t know what it is but he’s kicking and felt his kicking muscle.’