'No excuses': Joe Morrell's honest assessment on why it's all going wrong for Portsmouth

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The Blues have won two of their eight matches in all competitions since beating Bolton

No mealy-mouthed excuses, no flimsy mitigation - Joe Morrell has absolutely no intention of justifying Pompey’s hugely concerning slump.

Their worrying post-Christmas form escalated on Saturday with a dismal 3-0 defeat at home to mid-table Leyton Orient.

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That took their tally to five points from the last six matches, despite remaining League One leaders.

Morrell admits it’s difficult putting his finger on just why it is unravelling at Fratton Park so rapidly after largely five months of excellence.

Joe Morrell is in no mood to make excuses for Pompey's slump. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImagesJoe Morrell is in no mood to make excuses for Pompey's slump. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Joe Morrell is in no mood to make excuses for Pompey's slump. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

But the straight-talking Welshman certainly won’t be using hectic fixture schedules and crumbling confidence levels as vindication.

He told The News: ‘Unfortunately I’ve had plenty of bad runs since I’ve been at this football club and it’s not anything I can ever put my finger on to say what’s the reason why. If you knew, you’d be able to stop it.

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‘We have been a bit short of quality. The standards we set in terms of quality, especially attacking quality, has probably let us down recently. That’s not an individual thing, that’s a collective thing.

‘I didn’t think we really looked like scoring on Saturday, which is the disappointing thing because, ultimately, when you are 3-0 down, you need four goals - and we definitely didn’t look like doing that, let alone one.

‘We certainly won’t be making excuses with regards to the Christmas schedule because it’s the same for the rest of the teams in this division. Maybe a little more travelling, but we are professional footballers, you get on with it.

‘And I don’t think confidence is an issue either, it shouldn’t be an issue. If you went through the team individually this year, most have had a really good season and would probably be happy with the body of work they’ve produced this year.

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‘I don’t think confidence should be an issue, I don’t think it is an issue. We all underperformed on Saturday, that’s it.

‘We can’t excuse Saturday. We will get criticism for it and that’s part and parcel of playing for a football club like this. It’s about how you respond to that.’

Since beating Bolton a month ago, the Blues have collected two wins in eight matches in all competitions.

And matters require urgently addressing.

Morrell added: ‘It’s up to ourselves and the management to try to understand where things are going wrong at the minute.

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‘But when we’re on a winning run, you don’t necessarily think you are the best team and doing things really, really well.

‘We will come in on Monday and analyse what happened, where it went wrong and what we can do better.’

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