Wigley believes Portsmouth will reap rewards from clash against ‘determined’ Royal Navy

It was a game Pompey Reserves were fully expected to win.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 11:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 11:06 am
Pompey first-team coach Jake Wigley. Picture : Habibur Rahman

And Jake Wigley was delighted with the test the Blues were given against a ‘determined’ Royal Navy outfit. 

Louis Dennis fired a double, while Leon Maloney was also on target for the visitors. 

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Pompey first-team coach Jake Wigley. Picture : Habibur Rahman

With the likes of Dion Donohue, Anton Walkes, Brandon Haunstrup and Adam May all turning out for the Blues, nothing less than a victory would have been accepted.  

But they faced a Royal Navy side who had the opportunity to pull off an upset ahead of the Interservices Championships. 

And where the navy lacked in quality, Wigley feels the resolve they displayed will mean Pompey’s fringe players will reap the dividends from the clash. 

The first-team coach said: ‘We thought we would come up against fit, strong and determined lads – and we did.

‘We were a little bit disappointed first half as we thought we’d have a little bit more intensity to our game.

‘We had a talk at half-time and upped it in the second half.

‘But we knew we were coming up against a side wanting to put on a bit of a show against Portsmouth.

‘The standard might not be as high as we play week-in, week-out but we got some determination which you’d expect from the navy.

‘You don’t want to come to teams where’s it a half-hearted or a nothing game.

‘They wanted to win, show what they were about and we had to match them.

‘The first half we were disappointed with the intensity but the performance in the second half was good and we stepped it up.’

The bobbly pitch meant Pompey had to acclimatise their style of football in the second half.

And Wigley was pleased how his troops adapted.

He added: ‘It was a difficult pitch and we dealt with it better in the second half.

‘We stretched the play and played it longer by hitting the channels.

‘Louis Dennis made some good runs up to and we got him in a few times by playing some long, diagonal balls.

‘Rather than playing four or five-yard passes, we had to try to stretch them by playing over the top.’