Pompey defender: Time to turn draws into wins

Marc McNulty celebrates with Enda Stevens, Kyle Bennett, Caolan Lavery and Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Marc McNulty celebrates with Enda Stevens, Kyle Bennett, Caolan Lavery and Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Pompey have so far drawn 11 of their 24 league matches this season
  • Crawley are the visitors tomorrow after the Blues’ goalless Boxing Day stalemate with Luton

The halfway mark has been passed, 52 per cent of the League Two campaign negotiated.

The year 2015 has ended with Pompey sitting in fourth spot, still in the thick of the promotion hunt.

We are all about creating chances, we have goals in this team. If you look at how many people have five, six and seven goals it is ridiculous

Enda Stevens

Chasing Oxford United, Northampton and Plymouth, Paul Cook’s side are three points adrift from the top three.

For Enda Stevens, however, the concerning statistic is that of 11 draws from 24 league fixtures.

The Boxing Day stalemate against Andy Awford’s Luton was a sixth at Fratton Park this season, of which five have been goalless.

Rarely have Cook’s troops looked like adding to their three league defeats, such has been their dominance in the vast majority of matches.

Now it’s a case of turning draws such as Luton into more victories to put more pressure on the League Two pacesetters.

Crawley visit Fratton tomorrow, opponents the Blues previously drew 0-0 with back in August.

Yet Stevens believes Pompey possess the striking potency to starting turning more of those occasions into wins.

He said: ‘It has come to the stage now where we need to start picking up points.

‘We don’t want that gap getting too big and we have all those top teams to come to Fratton Park so we can shoot up the table.

‘I think the season has been relatively good, we have lost only three times.

‘But we’ve drawn too many, after Luton that is 11 now, so we need to pick up more wins coming into the second half of the season.

‘We are all about creating chances, we have goals in this team. If you look at how many people have five, six and seven goals it is ridiculous, so we have just got to keep going.

‘At Christmas time nobody looks at the league, what matters is come the end of the season and we have got to make sure there is not too much of a gap.

‘We need to keep pushing and putting teams under pressure ahead of us – and to achieve that draws must be turned into wins.’

Despite the number of stalemates, Pompey boast the best goal difference in the division, while only Carlisle have scored more.

Cook’s attacking options have been boosted in recent months following the loan arrivals of Caolan Lavery and Marc McNulty.

In addition, Gareth Evans scored three times last month, to take his season’s tally to six.

And Stevens is impressed with the pedigree Cook’s side possess in front of goal.

He added: ‘We weren’t solid against Leyton Orient and struggled and paid the price for that. We were a lot more solid against Luton but couldn’t get that final touch into the goal.

‘We went through a phase where it looked like we couldn’t stop scoring at home. We just have to make sure it doesn’t turn stale like earlier in the season.

‘Look at Lavs, Sparky (Marc McNulty), Conor, Gaz Evans, McGurk, Robbo (Gary Roberts) and Tubbsy, we have plenty of goals in this team. It just needs to click.

‘Lavery and McNulty have been excellent, there are definitely goals in them.’