Arsenal midfielder outlines reasons for Portsmouth's FA Cup humbling by Harrogate Town

Miguel Azeez pinpointed Pompey’s urgency to deliver success as key factor in falling foul of an FA Cup upset.

By Jordan Cross
Sunday, 5th December 2021, 4:55 am

And the Arsenal midfielder highlighted the Blues’ failure to make the most of their chances as another factor in their humbling by the League Two side.

Danny Cowley’s men were sent spinning out of the famous, old competition with virtually the last kick of the game at Fratton Park - losing the chance of a money-spinning third round tie in the process.

It also means Pompey’s six-game winning run came to a close along with their nine-game unbeaten streak against Simon Weaver’s side.

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Jack Diamond’s winner came at the end of a period in which Harrogate carved out a string of clearcut chances through the game’s dying embers.

Azeez feels that was as a consequence of the game becoming stretched as his side sought their own deciding goal.

He said: ‘When both teams are trying to win the game everything becomes more stretched.

Miguel Azeez

‘The game gets stretched and it becomes more hectic.

‘That’s football. That can happen against any team in any league or competition. It’s just part of football.’

Pompey had the better of the first half against opposition who have now reached the third round of the FA Cup for the first time.

Marcus Harness. Mahlon Romeo and Azeez himself all had openings, before two quickfire goals arrived just before the interval.

Harrison had a presentable header after the break, before Cowley’s men slowly lost their way with Harrogate seizing the initiative.

Azeez added: ‘We had our chances to win the game as well. If we take those chances, we win the game.

‘It’s frustrating, but it’s gone. We can’t let what happened here affect our league form.’

Despite the natural disappointment at exiting the FA Cup at home to a lower league side, the thought is the Harrogate loss will be put in context by what happens in the next two home games against Sheffield Wednesday and Morecambe.

Positive results in League One action will put that result to bed, with the Blues just two points off the play-offs ahead of former Pompey defender Darren Moore bringing his Owls side to PO4.

Azeez sees the character in his side to bounce back in a positive fashion on Tuesday night.

He added: ‘We have a strong mentality.

‘The next game is the most important for us and we have to make sure we carry on the league form and keep picking up the wins.’

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