Portsmouth boss believes experienced defence can do 'very well' - but must eradicate mistakes after Stevenage horror show

Kenny Jackett still has belief in his Pompey defence despite their first-half horror show at Stevenage.

Sunday, 30th August 2020, 5:00 pm
Charlie Carter puts Stevenage 1-0 up against Pompey. Picture: Jason Brown

Each of the goals the Blues conceded in the 3-3 draw at Broadhall Way on Saturday were calamitous as Boro raced into 2-0 and 3-1 leads within the opening 45 minutes.

Pompey clawed their way back into the game, with Ronan Curtis, a Gareth Evans penalty and John Marquis netting.

The Blues then won 3-1 on penalties to reach the second round of the Carabao Cup.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

All of the goals Jackett’s side shipped were defence mix-ups, somewhat of a worry ahead of the new League One season starting in less than two weeks’ time.

The Pompey boss was pleased how his rearguard of James Bolton, Paul Downing, Sean Raggett and Lee Brown responded in the second half, though, and remains confident in the quartet.

But he knows mistakes like at Stevenage need to be stamped out quickly.

Jackett said: ‘We were at sixes and sevens (defensively in the first half) and couldn’t make the right decisions, which was frustrating.

‘It was good to see, though, that we came through it in the second half and looked more solid.

‘It’s getting some regular football, getting into a rhythm. There are some experienced players back there that can do very well for us next year.

‘Obviously, the nature of the goals we were disappointed with.

‘All goals hurt you. Looking at them, Sean thought it was about communication on the first goal, but it looked quite a good goal to me, a great touch from Elliott List and finish.

‘Two and three were avoidable to be honest with you, probably unenforced errors.

‘They are an experienced back four and with many good clean sheets and performances with those guys in there.

‘For us, it’s early season we want to eradicate mistakes, definitely, but we also want to build momentum and build confidence if we can.’

Jackett was happy with Pompey’s attacking output against Stevenage.

But he accepts the Blues won’t be promoted this term if they consistently concede three times in a game.

Jackett added: ‘If we are looking at coming away in the cup to a league team, they are hard games and we have scored three goals.

‘Similarly, you can’t win too many games if you concede three. You have to recognise that and work at it.’