Tranmere boss: We were better than Portsmouth but defence proved our undoing

Micky Mellon felt struggling Tranmere were the better side for much of their clash with record-breaking Pompey.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 1:50 pm

The Rovers boss believes his side were on top in the first half at Prenton Park despite falling behind to Sean Raggett’s header in the 2-0 loss.

The stats certainly backed the Scot’s viewpoint with the Birkenhead outfit clocking up 11 shots to the Blues’ three.

Tranmere failed to work Alex Bass enough, though, and saw the keeper make an impressive stop from Andy Cook on the way to a fourth league clean sheet on the bounce when they did.

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Pompey never looked troubled after the restart with the result not in doubt after Ryan Williams double his side’s lead, but Mellon felt his team looked the more dangerous for decent periods of the game.

He told Tranmere Rovers’ YouTube channel: ‘I try to be honest and give my opinion and it’s only my opinion, but I thought we were the better side first half.

‘I thought we looked the team likely to score but to get undone by a free-kick like that is just ridiculous.

‘But the game lasts 90 minutes, I know that, and they get a second. I don’t know if the keeper can do better but a disappointment couple of moments have cost us.’

Micky Mellon and Pompey manager Kenny Jackett shake hands. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com.

Rovers has now failed to win in nine League One games stretching back to December 21.

Mellon felt the defending on show from the two sides explained why their fortunes are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

He added: ‘We defended poorly again, we don’t give ourselves a chance if we give away goals like that.

‘There were a lot of lads who gave good performances but to lose goals like that that when we did at the stages of the game that it was in would be tough for anybody.

‘They are incredibly soft goals and it is not something that we have suddenly started to do, it has been all season.

‘I can use them as an example. How well did they defend and threaten in different situations?

‘It’s tough for anyone to get over because they are soft goals, incredibly soft and it’s not something we’ve just started to do. It’s been all season.

‘People say fix it, but believe me we did everything we can. We work hard on it. Maybe we’re working too hard on it and making it too much of a focus.'