Former Rotherham United and Norwich man's no-nonsense view over Sutton United humbling - and why it could be so costly to Portsmouth
Sean Raggett reflected on Pompey’s Sutton United humbling and admitted: We let ourselves down.
The Blues are on the brink of going out of the Papa John’s Trophy, after their second defeat in this year’s competition following a dreadful showing against the League Two new boys at Fratton Park.
Two second-half goals did the damage on a night when Danny Cowley’s side failed to muster a shot on goal.
Despite making eight changes from the side who knocked Sunderland off top spot with a 4-0 thumping last time out, Cowley named an experienced side against Matt Gray’s men.
Pompey were never at the races, however, as they served up a woeful performance in front of a crowd of 2,490.
It was the 198 travelling fans who were left celebrating with Raggett knowing those who were involved did their chances of league inclusion no favours at all.
He said: ‘We let ourselves down tonight.
‘It will be frustrating if this result sends us out of the competition, because it’s a good competition and a good chance to play at Wembley.
‘That’s why it was so disappointing.
‘Sutton did well and deserved credit for harrying and pressuring us but we weren’t at it.
‘Every player out on the pitch is looking to be in the starting XI in league games.
‘It was a strong starting XI, no doubt and people are fighting for league places.
‘We weren’t at it.
‘So it is disappointing that we have let ourselves down a bit - every one of us.’
Pompey, of course, have an outstanding recent record in this competition, after memorably lifting silverware at Wembley in 2019, following penalty victory over Sunderland.
That was followed with another run to the last stage in the 2020 Trophy, which was eventually played in March with defeat to Salford City arriving on spot-kicks.
Raggett noted how a run to the latter stages offers a much-needed chance for players who aren’t getting league minutes.
The Blues now need Crystal Palace under-21s to beat AFC Wimbledon on October 26 to stay involved.
Raggett added: ‘We’ve got a good-quality squad here and we do want to give everyone minutes so they’re ready to come into the league. This competition gives a chance to do that, so going out will be a blow.’