Hasselbaink: Portsmouth couldn't deal with our lethal weapon

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink felt Pompey couldn’t deal with his side’s match-changing weapon as they put paid to Danny Cowley’s perfect start.

Sunday, 11th April 2021, 12:30 pm

Burton Albion punctured the four-game winning streak which has greeted Cowley’s arrival as head coach with a 2-1 win.

The Blues dominated possession, having 77 per cent of the ball across the 90 minutes but failed to create too much of note in the first half.

They were then undone by the Brewers’ long throw from Thomas Hamer, which caused problems in the Pompey box before Mike Fondop capitalised in first-half stoppage time to put his side ahead.

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Burton then doubled their lead 68 seconds after the restart as Joe Powell smashed in a 30-yard effort after being teed up by Sean Clare’s free-kick.

Despite Pompey’s dominance of the ball, Hasslebaink felt his side were the better team in the first half before digging in to secure the victory which keeps up their excellent away form which has seen them pick up seven wins and two draws from the last nine.

Hasselbaink told burtonalbionfc.co.uk: ‘It was very tough. The first half we contained them and made it really difficult for them.

Referee John Busby has words with Burton's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

‘I thought we were solid in the first half. We know we’ve got a weapon with the long throw, they had significant problems with that and we scored from there (through Fondop).

‘In the first half I thought we were the better team even though they had more of the ball. In the second half, we scored for 2-0 at the right time, and that sets them back a bit.

‘They’ll come forward from there and we should maybe do a little bit better with the ball, but overall it was a well-worked performance.

‘We really dug in at the difficult moments and I think a hard-fought three points was well earned.’

Fondop’s hulking presence up front caused issues for Pompey, as the Cameroonian used his physicality to cause problems and nab a goal before being withdrawn along with Burton’s other goalscorer, Joe Powell, in the second half.

Hasselbaink added: ‘We knew here that we were, at times, going to be under pressure and we would have to put balls up front.

‘We needed somebody to hold the ball up and bring us in play, and that’s why we played Fondop.

‘Jonny Smith could have played but he’s played so much football that we had to take him off at Swindon, where he had a little bit of a scare with his hamstring, and we didn’t really want to risk him today.

‘We thought it was also a chance for Joe to come in and play from that side, from the left.’

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