Defender gives insight into the despondency now within the Portsmouth ranks

Jack Whatmough admitted the mood of the Pompey squad is at rock bottom.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 9:20 am

And the defender confessed he had no answer to explain the Blues’ shocking first-half display at Wembley in the Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Salford City.

The bid to inject confidence into the campaign ended in dispiriting failure, as Kenny Jackett’s men fell to a 4-2 penalty shootout defeat to the League Two outfit after a goalless 120 minutes at the home of football.

Pompey could have no complaints at the outcome, and were indebted to an outstanding performance from Craig MacGillivray for keeping them in the game.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Jackett’s team were big favourites to come out on top, but were humbled by the League Two outfit who warranted their success.

The result means Pompey have now picked up one win in eight on a weekend when they fell out of the play-off places.

Whatmough was at a loss to explain what unfolded in the first 45 minutes on such a stage and the morale of the team has been hit.

Jack Whatmough

He said: ‘We were poor in the first half, but I thought in the second half we were better and good in extra-time.

‘We had the chances to win it but it’s gone to a penalty shootout - and a penalty shootout is a penalty shootout.

‘We were poor in the first half, though, and it took us until the second half to get going.

‘Why was that? I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you.

This content is brought to you in association with the University of Portsmouth

‘We have to show we have character, yes.

‘The mood is low, though, you can see it. You don’t really need to ask.’

A message from the editor

On Saturday, March 13 Pompey will finally get their day at Wembley.

To celebrate the Blues’ place in the rearranged 2020 EFL Trophy Final, The News has launched an offer that gets you 25% off all our Sports subscriptions.

You can choose your perfect Sports subscription here and use the discount code ROADTOWEMBLEY25 to get the latest news from Fratton Park for less. Offer runs until midnight on March 15.