Pompey boss to focus on killer instinct

Alex Wynter turns away in dismay as his close-range effort is saved by Burton keeper Jon McLaughlin   Picture: Joe Pepler
Alex Wynter turns away in dismay as his close-range effort is saved by Burton keeper Jon McLaughlin Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford will attempt to sharpen up Pompey’s cutting edge this week after they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Burton Albion.

The Blues made a dreadful start to the contest as they conceded Adam McGurk’s opener inside two minutes, before Lucas Akins’ fine second-half strike sealed the points.

But while Pompey had some decent spells and enjoyed plenty of possession, they came up short in attempting to break a resolute Burton side down and struggled to really extend the Albion goalkeeper.

And Awford has plans to address those failings this week on the training pitch.

He said: ‘I’m disappointed and frustrated.

‘I really believed we could hurt them in the final third.

‘We had the opportunity to do that and we didn’t.

‘We will be doing a lot of work on the finishing and the quality of the final ball in training this week because it wasn’t good enough.

‘We got enough bodies in the box and had the opportunity to score goals.

‘Maybe it was just one of those games where it doesn’t quite happen for you.

‘But we will be working hard on it in training this week.

‘They have got to do better than that.’

After the Blues responded to last weekend’s League Two loss to Newport County with an impressive 3-1 win at Yeovil in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Awford felt there were similarities to the performance at Huish Park.

He said: ‘I don’t think there was too much difference between the performances.

‘We had three great finishes at Yeovil and it wasn’t there this time. That was the difference.

‘I don’t think we were off it. Against Newport, I thought we were. That was a more disappointing performance for me.

‘I thought large parts of the performance were good but we weren’t good enough in their box or in the final third.

‘We matched Burton for large parts of the game and we knew what they were about.

‘They let us have the ball and then countered on us.

‘But it wasn’t something we didn’t know was coming.

‘After the Newport defeat, we had the Yeovil game straight afterwards. This time we have got to wait a bit longer.

‘But we can get the players rested and get some proper work into them on the training ground.

‘Then we can prepare for Southend in a more thorough way.

‘Although that’s not an excuse for this result.’

Pompey’s clearest opening of the afternoon arrived early in the second half when Johnny Ertl picked out Alex Wynter, only for the defender’s shot to be blocked at close range.

Awford said ‘How it didn’t go in with Alex Wynter, I don’t know.

‘But we could have carried on playing into Monday and we wouldn’t have scored.’