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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Cotterill reflects on - and bemoans - Hull defeat

It is amazing how many times you hear football fans say 'I cannot believe we lost that game' or 'we did not deserve to lose' - and these would have been words that you would have heard from plenty of Pompey fans today, in fact I did in the ground...

The problem is if you are not clinical enough, chances are these missed opportunities will bite you in the arse, as they did this afternoon!

18 attempts at goal is a fantastic effort, the problem is I would say only a third of these were on target, and that would include the two goals we scored - most others were straight at the keeper, who only really had one serious save to make, which came in injury-time when he saved from Dave Nugent when one-on-one.

Steve Cotterill knows that it was this lack of clinical finishing that cost us: 'I'm a winner and passionate so it hurts to lose games like that.

'I thought we were good enough for three points. At the moment we're geared up to entertain and win games and it could have been 8-3. I don't want to take anything away from Hull but we deserved to win the game.'

Defensively, for the countless time this season, we shot ourselves in the foot.

Cock-ups at the back, not taking anything away from Hull's clinical finishing, accounted for 2 of the 3 goals. The, apparent, incompetence of the referee to give the penalty the other...

A 'solid unit' defensively is something that he said he has always looked to work from, and this is what he is looking for again: 'my teams are normally built around keeping clean sheets and I'm always looking for a solid defensive unit.

'But when I came into the club we had one defender and it's had a knock-on effect. The lads have come in and done an honest job but every time we play we have two or three loan signings in our back four and it's our Achilles heel.

'I like to build from the back with my teams and I still think we need two defenders.'

To be honest I like having a solid defence but will accept a 'we will score more than you' approach - and 'think' this is one we will have to! But can we do this?

Lets face it we are always going to struggle, in our position, to be able to build a solid base - that makes it ALL the more important that we take the chances on offer, and we had countless opportunities today but our failure to take them is what cost us more today than poor defending.

The players are good enough, or at least should be, to take the chances that were presented today.

I can think of easier games that I would have liked at the weekend than a trip to Brighton in the cup.

Many will now expect a defeat, in fact I suspect that a number would 'take' this as they would rather focus on the league - whilst I appreciate that the league is most important a good cup run would being much needed cash...

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  • The Journalist

    Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

    Date:Monday January 3 2011

    Time: 8:37PM

    Your Comments

    Good article, I agree a win would be a good thing financially but Brighton will be up for it. Pompey must get back to winning ways without Brown and Hughes and now following suspension Halford, but Kitson will be back and who knows; maybe Kilbey will get a game.
    Russellm
    Just a point, the one defender story isn't quite true; is it?
    Russellm
     

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