Michael Doyle calls on Pompey to stop ‘showing weakness’

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Michael Doyle branded Pompey ‘weak’ as they crashed at Leyton Orient.

And the Blues skipper warned more of the same defensive sloppiness will derail their bid for the League Two title.

Pompey gave away a first-half lead as they fell to a frustrating 3-2 loss at Brisbane Road on Boxing Day.

Adam Webster’s professional foul on Jobi McAnuff gave Orient a leveller as Jay Simpson scored from the spot before Paul Cook’s side gave away two shoddy goals.

Former Hawks striker Ollie Palmer benefitted on both occasions to give Ian Hendon’s team the victory.

Cook was fuming after the game about the lapses and Doyle echoed his view the mistakes cannot be allowed to continue.

Doyle said: ‘We can’t be giving teams goals like we did.

‘We’re supposed to be going for the title this season, so that’s just not good enough.

‘We were weak and that is disappointing.

‘I don’t want to be pointing fingers at anyone but we have to stronger than that.

‘We can’t be giving teams goals like that.

‘If we score we have to work hard for them and break down teams.

‘So we can’t be making it easy for them like we did.

‘It’s disappointing because we were in control of the game.

‘We’ve let them off the hook, at the end of the day.

‘We gave them the advantage through bad decisions.

‘The goals we gave away were frustrating.

‘Congratulations to them but we were poor with the goals. We have to be stronger.

‘We can’t be showing weakness in this league.’

Pompey allowed Orient to take the ascendancy after dominating the early proceedings at Brisbane Road.

Doyle has little doubt the Blues eased up when they were in control of the game.

The 34-year-old knows there is little time to linger on that, however, with Luton Town arriving at Fratton Park today.

Doyle said: ‘Maybe we thought it was too easy.

‘We took our foot off the gas and let them back into it. We have to be at it all of the time.

‘If we slow down like we did we’ll be in trouble.

‘We have to get the result out of our systems.

‘We’ve got a tough game against Luton.

‘We had a tough game at their place earlier in the season, so we know it won’t be easy.

‘There is no use feeling sorry for ourselves.

‘We have to pick ourselves up and show some character.’

Doyle was expecting to face a period on the sidelines with a knee injury.

That was picked up against Northampton where the Irishman played on for 80 minutes despite the problem.

Doyle has had discussions with Cook and has told him he is happy to play on.

He said: ‘I’ll be fine. I’m looking after myself and I’ll be ready.

‘I’ve spoken to the manager and I’m fine to carry on playing. I know my body better than anyone.’