The concerning Portsmouth stat that needs rectifying in promotion bid
‘Maybe they just had that one incident in the first half, but other than that Maxi (goalkeeper Chris Maxwell) has had nothing to do,’ he said.
The incident Critchley was referring to was Rasmus Nicolaisen’s shot which was blocked on the line by James Husband.
But, apart from that, Seasiders keeper Maxwell was a spectator in the visiting goal.
In truth, Pompey could have played another 90 minutes and still wouldn't have looked like scoring.
When the Blues are at their pinnacle going forward, they’re a potent threat that can tear opposition defences apart.
But for a side harbouring automatic promotion ambitions, too often their attacking performances have been blunted – and the stats show it.
Worryingly, the Blackpool loss was the ninth time Pompey have fired a blank in 28 league games this season.
That works out at 32 per cent of their matches – which is substantially worse than each of the other sides occupying the top-six spots.
Leaders Lincoln have scored three fewer goals than Pompey but netted in all but six of their 28 games (21 per cent) – likewise second-placed Peterborough.
Meanwhile, third-placed Hull – the division's top scorers with 49 goals – have also failed to score in six games of their 30 matches. That works out at 20 per cent.
Doncaster, who are fourth, have flexed their muscle in the final third on numerous occasions.
So it’ll hardly be a surprise that they’ve failed to beat an opposition keeper on just three occasions in 27 games (11 per cent).
And now Sunderland have plenty of momentum behind them, having moved up to sixth following their win over Burton on Saturday.
The appointment of Lee Johnson to succeed Phil Parkinson appears to be paying off.
However, even during their early-season struggles, the Black Cats still managed to find a way of scoring in games.
Only in three of their 28 encounters have they not scored, which comes out at 11 per cent.
A significant reason behind Pompey’s recent troubles seems to be that all their forwards have lost form at the same time.
Marcus Harness, Ronan Curtis, John Marquis and Ryan Williams are currently out of sorts.
What’s more, Ellis Harrison's not had a substantial goalscoring impact from the bench and Tom Naylor’s long-range strikes have inevitably dried up.
The Blues are also badly missing the injured Michael Jacobs, whose quality and creativity can lift those around him.
Still, an answer to their attacking shortcomings needs to be swiftly recaptured and goals need to come even in tightly-fought games. Automatic promotion depends on it.
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