Paul Downing: We let ourselves down and must look in the mirror after Portsmouth defeat to Cambridge United

Paul Downing believes Pompey let themselves down after suffering a Fratton Park defeat to Cambridge United.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 6:05 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th September 2021, 6:07 pm
Marcus Harness attempts to inspire Pompey in their 2-1 defeat against Cambridge United. Picture: Joe Pepler

Joe Ironside’s first-half goal and then Liam O’Neil’s half-volley set the League One newcomers on the road for victory.

Ronan Curtis pulled one back for the Blues with 14 minutes remaining to spark hopes of a late comeback, but it never emerged.

Despite dominating possession, Danny Cowley’s men barely had a shot on target and struggled creatively.

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They were booed off at half-time and the final whistle – and Downing admits the display was not good enough in the 2-1 loss..

He told The News: ‘It was a disappointing afternoon for us, we’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror and produce better.

‘We’ve got some good players in the dressing room, yet it probably took us until we went 2-0 down to really start playing. That’s frustrating.

‘We knew how they were going to set up and that they would try to frustrate us. We had worked on it – how to create chances playing like that – and it was our final ball.

‘We got into some good positions in the first half and the cross went into the keeper’s hands or we gave the ball away.

‘It was that little bit of quality to create, the opportunity to score, which was the frustrating part.

‘We all have to take responsibility. From the back we must get the ball up quickly into the positions for the forward players to then go and do their bit.

‘At home we want to create more than we did and be on the front foot, really attacking teams – and at times we let ourselves down.’

Pompey are back at Fratton Park on Tuesday, when Plymouth are the visitors.

The Pilgrims are now fourth in League One following a 1-0 win at AFC Wimbledon – while the Blues have lost four in a row in all competitions.

Downing added: ‘The manager afterwards told us how it is.

‘We know ourselves that we need to produce better and we’ll go away and review, making sure we come back strong against Plymouth.

‘We have a busy period of games, that’s three defeats in a row now in the league, which is nowhere near good enough for us as a team and a club.’

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