Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett admits: we must cure Achilles heel hampering our progress

Kenny Jackett has challenged Pompey to finally address their ‘Achilles heel’.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 5:30 am

The Blues clinched progress to the second round of the FA Cup on Monday following victory at Harrogate Town.

However, the non-leaguers took a seventh-minute lead after Pompey’s weakness defending dead balls once again reared its head.

On this occasion, a free-kick delivered from the halfway line wreaked havoc, with the towering Mark Beck netting a header.

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It has been a recurring problem for Jackett’s men this season, costing them crucial points in their bid to climb the League One table.

At Wetherby Road, the Blues weren’t punished, coming from behind to win 2-1.

Yet Jackett has reiterated the necessity to improve in their defensive play.

He said: ‘Set-pieces have been an Achilles heel for us so far this season - and we conceded another on Monday tonight.

Mark Beck celebrates scoring for Harrogate Town after Pompey were again punished from a dead-ball situation on Monday evening. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/PinPep

‘There have been too many late goals - and goals from set-pieces.

‘It’s something we have to eradicate. There are a lot of goals generally scored from set-pieces, so it's not something you can eradicate totally.

‘We haven’t scored enough and, 15 league games in, neither of my centre-halves have scored yet.

‘Similarly, against us there have been too many goals, too many set-pieces going into our net.

‘There have been free headers, Harrogate got three consecutive headers in our box seven minutes into the game. We are disappointed with that.’

Pompey have registered just clean sheets in 15 league matches this season, yet possess the joint-fifth best goal difference in the division.