Former Portsmouth great's words of advice as Blues seek quick solution to misfiring forwards ahead of key Peterborough and Ipswich games
Former Fratton favourite Matty Taylor believes the training ground is the only place to sort out Pompey’s goal-shy forwards.
He’s adamant that’s the only place the Blues’ misfiring forwards will rediscover their confidence after another match-day of blanks being fired.
It’s 300 minutes since Pompey last scored in open play, with John Marquis’ 90th-minute consolation against Doncaster the last time they created and converted a chance.
Since them Ellis Harrison netted from the spot in the 4-1 defeat at Northampton, while zeros were registered in the games against Sunderland and Salford, with yesterday’s Papa John’s Trophy final decided on penalties after normal time and extra-time finished in a goalless deadlock.
Among those to miss from the spot in the 4-2 shootout defeat where Ronan Curtis and Ryan Williams – two players who have failed to score in seven and nine games respectively.
However, they’re not alone in failing to deliver in key moments in front of goal in recent weeks.
Marquis has only two goals in his past 12 games.
Harrison’s last goal from open play in the league goes back to the home defeat against Wigan on September 26.
Meanwhile, October 27 is the date which last saw Marcus Harness register a league strike.
He’s played 24 third-tier games since that effort against Northampton, while a goal against non-league King Lynn in the FA Cup back in November is his only notch since.
It’s this type of form which sees Pompey now occupy a place outside the League One play-offs.
With big games against Peterborough and Ipswich coming up this week, it can’t continue.
And according to Taylor, who had an eye for the spectacular during his time at Fratton Park, the training ground is the best place to iron out these debilitating problems.
Speaking on Sky Sports following Pompey’s Wembley disappointment against Salford, the former left-sided player said: ‘They (Pompey) didn’t take the chances they created.
‘Between both boxes they were good – but they didn’t take their chances.
‘Similarly, you could say that about Salford – it was a nin-nil draw.
‘But I think now, listening to Kenny (post-match), it’s going to come down to the training ground, it’s going to come down to hard work, it’s going to come down to the players hitting the back of the net day in, day out in sessions because they will create chances.
‘They’ve got very good players for the level in League One.
‘They’ve just got to now find that confidence from somewhere – and I promise you it will come from within the training pitch and working hard every single day to earn it.’
Former Blues striker Danny Webber, who was also part of the Sky Sports team for the Wembley final, had some words of advice for the current crop of forwards as well.
He added: ‘Kenny said he’s got players who can score goals and I think it’s just them boys getting into the right habits and not trying to score the perfect goal because you can try and do that sometimes as a striker – you try to make it absolutely perfect.
‘Just getting in the right areas, trying to get across your defender, running through the centre of the goal when the ball goes wide, and you’ll get your goals because they’ve got the quality.’