Pompey out but not down after Cardiff
Yes, I know the saying is down but not out but in this instance Pompey are out of the League Cup but the Blues are not too down about the loss at Cardiff on Tuesday.
Having taken the lead, which of course led to the clichés, we'll have to get used to them, of Pompey looking for a 'fairytale outcome' under former Walt Disney chief exec Michael Eisner, the Blues couldn't quite go the distance with Cardiff securing a 2-1 win in extra time.
Pompey went into half time a goal up after Cardiff captain Sean Morrison diverted Kal Naismith's cross past his own goalkeeper, former Blues man Brian Murphy.
However, Cardiff levelled minutes into the second half when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing scored; he too previously had a loan at Fratton Park a few years back. With a penalty shootout looming a 113th minute winner from another Pompey old boy Greg Halford blasted the Bluebirds to victory.
Kenny Jackett told portsmouthfc.co.uk he was pleased with what he saw against Cardiff as Pompey caused plenty of problems and defended brilliantly before the 'big-hitters' Neil Warnock had turned to from the bench proved a little too much for the Blues.
He said: 'I felt that we gave Cardiff some problems and played good football at times - particularly early in the game. We created some decent chances, but they kept at it and eventually got on top of us. There was some short, incisive build-up with our passing and that's exactly what we've been looking for.'
Adding: 'Then we blocked, battled and defended our box extremely well, with some great saves made by our goalkeeper. We showed fantastic character and attitude. There are times when you need to defend and hang in there, although you need to aspire to more. In the end Cardiff just had a little bit too much for us, particularly when they brought their wide-men off the bench. They needed those big-hitters.
Pompey academy graduates Brandon Haunstrup and Adam May were handed starting places at the Cardiff City Stadium with Jackett adding they had been a 'big positive from the night' as they didn't 'do themselves any harm' and should also 'take confidence from their performances.'
The performance of Haunstrup, in particular, despite the fact the Blues boss is looking for another central midfielder, opening the door to May, will please Jackett as Tareiq Holmes-Dennis is set for quite a spell on the sidelines it appears.
Jackett said: 'It doesn't look good at the moment. He has a further meeting on Friday with a specialist, but it seems like a longer-term issue. I was happy with Brandon, but you need two specialist left-backs, so we do need someone to come in and compete with him.'
League One is the priority. Yes, I would have liked a League Cup run but Pompey did well in Wales and this 90 minutes, 120 minutes in some cases, should serve several players well and benefit the Blues going forward.
PLAY UP POMPEY
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