Kenny Jackett: Portsmouth fell short in big moments against Sunderland

Kenny Jackett reflected on the big moments which got away following play-off elimination to Sunderland. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kenny Jackett reflected on the big moments which got away following play-off elimination to Sunderland. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kenny Jackett reflected on Pompey’s failure to capitalise on ‘big moments’ as their promotion aspirations were extinguished.

A goalless draw against Sunderland at Fratton Park tonight ensured a 1-0 aggregate play-off semi-final defeat for the Blues.

Requiring victory on the evening, Pompey failed to consistently threaten the visitors, and their Wembley bid petered out long before the final whistle.

Yet there were opportunities, with Jackett pointing to fine Jon McLaughlin saves from headers provided Gareth Evans, Oli Hawkins and substitute James Vaughan.

And he feels those occasions were crucial to the outcome in Sunderland’s favour.

Jackett said: ‘There were some big moments, great saves from their keeper.

‘There was when Gareth Evans was through, he is an excellent finisher, and Matt Clarke hit the bar from the resulting header.

‘And two headers, Oli Hawkins then James Vaughan, were our two in the second half.

‘Those key moments produced great saves from their keeper and ultimately, over 180 minutes, it’s a strike from Maguire, and a quality strike, which decided the tie.

‘We couldn’t find that one moment which would have prolonged it.

‘We got up a good head of steam in the first half going into our own fans, but ultimately there were two good chances in either half we needed to take that would have really lifted us and, I think, kicked us on.

‘We couldn’t do that and, ultimately, it’s a clean sheet away from home for them which got Sunderland the win.’