Portsmouth midfielder Tom Naylor reveals what happened in fiery clash with Sunderland's Chris Maguire

Tom Naylor has lifted the lid on the moment the red mist descended in his showdown with Chris Maguire.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 12:19 pm
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 10:45 am
Tom Naylor and his Pompey team-mates square off with Sunderland last season. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the Pompey midfielder has promised there will be no repeat of the ball-throwing incident from last season’s play-off showdown, as his side prepare to renew their rivalry with Sunderland.

Tempers flared across five meetings with the Black Cats last term, with familiarity certainly breeding a degree of contempt between the two sides.

Players jostled on the full-time whistle on both of Pompey’s visits to the Stadium of Light, while there was a powder-keg atmosphere at Fratton Park for the play-off return.

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That encounter saw Naylor and Chris Maguire involved in a first-half scuffle which preceded the midfielder launching the ball and hitting the striker’s head.

Naylor admitted he’s still not sure what came over him.

Speaking ahead of the new season, he said: ‘I don't know what happened! ‘I know Maguire, I know him from Derby!

‘It was just one of those ones where he’s kicked out at me and I gave him a bit back.

Tom Naylor at the final whistle against Sunderland

‘I shouldn't have done it to be fair and it was stupid of me.

‘I don't know why I did it. I was probably giving it the big one in front of the fans!

‘He took it well really and it was stupid.

‘It’s a learning curve still, though I shouldn't do it as an experienced player.

‘You won't see me doing it again - put it that way.’

Naylor admitted memories of what occurred between the two sides last term are unlikely to be too far from the surface as they meet again for the fifth time in 20 weeks.

And he even made a light-hearted comparison between Sunderland and Pompey’s deadly rivals Southampton.

He added: ‘I’m not sure if it’s Southampton who are the rivals or Sunderland now!

‘We played them a lot last season and they were one of the teams we had a bit of a falling out with a times.

‘We played them so much and obviously got one over them in the final.

‘It’s the two biggest clubs in the league, two massive clubs, and we want to be on top like they do.

‘There was what happened in the play-offs at their place and in the return at our place

‘I don’t think people forget what happens.

‘We got one over them in the final and they got one over us in the play-offs.

‘Hopefully we're the ones to do that this season.’