Date: 18th February 2018 at 10:32pm
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As I enjoyed bringing an end to a winter walking break in the Lake District – yes, trudging up and down a mountain in snow and ice could be hard to describe as ‘enjoyment’ at times – Pompey were beaten at Southend on Saturday.

Defeat, our 14th I think, which has also seen us win 14 times too, left us in ninth, now below Plymouth, and five points off the top six, which means our play-off chances were further damaged, admittedly missing this probably isn’t the worse thing.

A poor start saw Southend, who have seen a real turnaround in fortunes since Chris Powell was appointed, two-up inside of 15 minutes when Matt Clarke’s attempted challenge on Shayon Harrison resulted in an own goal, swiftly followed by a second from Jason Demetriou – a former Pompey target I think?

Gareth Evans gave us hope of a comeback when he pulled one back, but he got injured in the process and had to go off. Nathan Thompson’s sending off and Brett Pitman also being forced off due to injury effectively ended the Blues chances, completely finished when Demetriou added a third near full time.

Another abject performance and the failure to ‘do enough’ meant we basically got what we deserved at Roots Hall.

Commenting post-match Kenny Jackett told the News: ‘We were poor defensively, we didn’t do enough, I thought we were too deep on a regular basis and didn’t win enough headers. We didn’t work hard enough to block crosses coming into our box, both of their full-backs had a very good day in terms of their service.’

‘It’s a high run of games where we haven’t had a clean sheet, too many goals against and that is the basis of everything good teams do,’ added Jackett.

‘The goals against column have to be zeros and ones – then you can start to build some confidence and earn some points. As a side we are giving soft goals away, it doesn’t seem too hard to score against us and it has to improve.’

Yes, defeat is of course disappointing. However, this is another step on the learning curve we’re going on.

It goes without saying a promotion push would be something we want, but a top-10 finish should be acceptable and benefit the younger players developing into seasoned first team players.

PLAY UP POMPEY

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2017-18 Prediction League – February
Fleetwood (a) Tuesday 20th February 2018 – click here.
Blackpool (h) Saturday 24th February 2018 – click here.

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