Portsmouth boss refuses to call out players as season hits low with dreadful MK Dons defeat

Danny Cowley refused to criticise his players after their shocking defeat to managerless MK Dons.
Danny Cowley.Danny Cowley.
Danny Cowley.

Pompey slumped to a dreadful home defeat to the side who started the afternoon off the bottom of the table on goal difference.

The reverse saw the Blues lose their first home game since January 31 - a run spanning 23 matches.

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But the reality is it’s now just a single win in 11 league fixtures, with the Blues’ last League One success at Fratton Park arriving 15 weeks ago against Peterborough.

The Pompey fans made their feelings known after the visitor’s second goal from Jack Tucker in the 64th minute, with a series of angry chants preceding widespread boos on the full-time whistle.

But Cowley wouldn’t call out those who came up short on an afternoon which saw Pompey drop to 10th in the table.

Cowley said: ‘We’re really disappointed.

‘We conceded two soft goals from short corners.

‘But it’s not the moment for me to criticise players publicly.

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‘It doesn’t matter what happens between the boxes when you concede soft goals you don’t win football matches.

‘I think a lot of them and I believe in them as players and people.

‘We have to keep working.

‘We have to get back to analysis room and training pitch, find the problems and find the solutions.

‘We know why we lost the game and it’s really clear, but it doesn’t make you feel any better.’

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Pompey actually started the afternoon brightly and got into a number of positive positions and created chances across the first 30 minutes.

MK Dons scored from their first shot on goal in the 34th minute and the doubled their lead when some shambolic defending from a corner allowed Jack Tucker to double his side’s advantage.

Cowley added: ‘We’re conceding from the first attack and it’s incredibly frustrating, particularly given we had some good chances in that opening period.

‘The players become a bit anxious and then we start forcing our play and playing hopeful football instead of sticking to the method and moving the ball.

‘This is the problem when you concede goals and you lose momentum.’