Portsmouth midfielder dismisses tiredness concerns

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Lethargic, sluggish and lacking in energy.

Yet Tom Naylor has dismissed the Blues’ gruelling schedule as being the cause of their below-par 1-0 defeat to Blackpool.

Tom Naylor has dismissed suggestions of tiredness among Pompey's squad. Picture: Joe Pepler

Tom Naylor has dismissed suggestions of tiredness among Pompey's squad. Picture: Joe Pepler

Saturday represented a seventh game in 22 days for a squad still involved in three competitions during mid-January.

In that period injuries have impacted, while Ben Thompson has been recalled by Millwall.

Certainly against the Tangerines Kenny Jackett’s men looked a shadow of themselves throughout, taking until the 85th minute before finding an attempt on goal.

But Naylor, one of the few to emerge with any credit, doesn’t accept tiredness as an excuse.

He said: ‘It felt flat straight away, there was no energy in there, no enthusiasm going forward, it felt like a reserve game really.

‘But we need to snap out of that and snap out of it quickly, we’ve got plenty of games to go.

‘The fixtures are there for everyone to see at the start of the season, no teams come in and are told “You play them today”, you know this in advance, that’s the fixtures set.

‘We have got to get the minds right for every game.

‘Everyone is frustrated, everyone is disappointed, it’s another defeat at home, we need to stop that and be better.

‘But we have been unbelievable up to this point, everybody can see why we are top of the league and we just need to keep going and finding out the results.

‘The end product wasn’t there from everyone on Saturday, it wasn't quite there. That is the frustrating part.’

Defeat ended a run of four straight victories for Jackett’s men.

Meanwhile, of their four League One losses this season, three have arrived at Fratton Park.

On their travels, though, Pompey remain a different prospect, even winning at Championship Norwich.

And next up is a trip to 21st-placed Oxford United this coming Saturday.

Naylor added: ‘You have to forget about this game and go again.

‘We lost against Gillingham on Boxing Day and won the next four, so we just need to keep doing that.

‘Oxford is the next step – and hopefully we can get three points there.’