Former Sunderland defender Michael Gray believes Pompey were unfortunate not to get something out of yesterday’s defeat at the Stadium of Light.
The Blues suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of one of their perceived promotion rivals, despite Marcus Harness handing Kenny Jackett’s side a deserved 1-0 lead on 22 minutes.
Goals from Jordan Willis and Chris Maguire before half-time cancelled out that early advantage and gave the Black Cats the platform to secure their first League One win of the season.
Gray, who was working as a Sky Sports pundit yesterday, said his former club looked strong in the second half.
But with John Marquis and substitute Gareth Evans both missing chances after the break for the Blues, the former England left-back admitted a more clinical approach in front of goal would have seen Pompey return home with something in the bag.
Gray told Sky Sports: ‘I think, second half, you have to say it was probably more Sunderland, I thought they looked a bit stronger, they had parts in the second half where it looked like they were going to score goals.
‘But, yes, at the end of the 90 minutes you have to say Portsmouth certainly pushed for that equalising goal.
‘I think overall Kenny Jackett probably thinks they deserved a draw from the game.
‘And if they were a little bit more clinical, you probably would say yes – certainly second half when you look at the number of opportunities they created for themselves’
The Stadium of Light defeat was Pompey’s second loss on the road this season, leaving them 15th in the League One table on three points.
However, Gray firmly believes they’ll be in the promotion hunt come the end of the season.
He said: ‘Absolutely (they’ll be right up there).
‘You can see the quality that they’ve got – I think with (Christian) Burgess at the back they look nice and solid and organised.
‘Yes, they conceded two goals on Saturday but if they (keep more clean sheets) they’ll certainly win more games than they’ll lose.’