Stevens: Pompey can handle sides parking bus

Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler
Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler

ENDA STEVENS is confident Pompey are solving the riddle of teams ‘parking the bus’.

And the defender feels fast starts are the way to halt sides being defensive when they come to Fratton Park.

Paul Cook’s side produced their best performance of the season against Crawley on Saturday, as two goals in the first 12 minutes built the platform for victory.

Wycombe arrive on Saturday and have drawn criticism in the past for timewasting against Pompey.

Stevens feels there were signs his side were coming to terms with the challenges presented by negative opponents last season.

And the 26-year-old reckons the issues presented by rivals at home this term can be solved.

Stevens said: ‘The manager has had it over many seasons.

‘But it’s the first time we’ve felt that as players – teams parking the bus.

‘So we are learning about that type of football and how to try to cancel out a team’s negativity.

‘It’s just starting games quicker and not giving teams the chance to do that.

‘After Christmas I think we learnt about it. Our home form improved a lot.

‘We were bang at it at home and attacking teams from minute one. That’s what we need to do.’

With four clean sheets out of five league fixtures and three league wins on the bounce, Stevens is hopeful Pompey’s other shortcomings are being eradicated.

He said: It’s all there. It’s about winning those games consecutively. That was our biggest hiccup last season.

‘We conceded late goals as well. That record didn’t help. It was a thing for us because it didn’t just happen on the odd occasion.

‘It happened on five occasions. That’s another thing we needed to look at.’

– JORDAN CROSS