Westcarr: Pompey must learn to progress

Craig Westcarr. Picture: Joe Pepler
Craig Westcarr. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Craig Westcarr has called on Pompey to swiftly find the keys to unlocking stubborn sides if they are to progress.

The Blues were left frustrated after Newport County snatched a late 1-0 Fratton Park win on Saturday.

It was a surprising scoreline considering the hosts largely dominated the contest, albeit without troubling the Exiles’ keeper enough.

Regardless, Andy Awford’s frustrated troops slipped to a first league loss of the campaign.

And Westcarr believes Pompey must learn how to overcome such Fratton opposition in the future.

He said: ‘I don’t think Newport raised their game. It’s easy to sit back and try to contain a team.

‘If I am honest, it is up to us to try to break them down. At the end of the day we are the home team, we can’t complain, we just have to lick our wounds and carry on playing.

‘They play to a system to frustrate us and that is what they did. They went man-to-man, they took fouls for fun, the referee was stopping the game every five minutes and breaking the rhythm of the game, so it was difficult.

‘But as experienced players we have to deal with that.

‘When you play with a high tempo like we do there are numerous ways to break teams down. At the end of the day it is League Two, not the Championship, we are not playing Chelsea, it’s Newport County.

‘We just have to find a way to break these teams down and start quicker than probably we did. It’s not rocket science is it.

‘Newport are going to play for that and take risks and Saturday it worked for them, so fair play.

‘We had a lot of possession but didn’t create as much as we should have and that is something we must look at.

‘We look forward to sides coming here and hope next time we play here we can break down the opposition and perform.’

Pompey are now seventh in League Two, while Saturday represented Newport’s first win from their league campaign so far.

Meanwhile, for Awford it signalled the end of an 11-match unbeaten league run stretching back to March last season. Next up is tomorrow’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Yeovil.

The league programme resumes on Sunday with a tough trip to Burton.

Irrespective of successive defeats in the past week, Westcarr insists there is nothing for fans to get concerned about.

He added: ‘It was just one of those games. I don’t think we can get sucked into doom and gloom.

‘It was positive in the dressing room afterwards, everyone is raring to go to the next game.

‘Of course we are disappointed with the result but it is only one loss. Good teams don’t continue losing, good teams bounce back, so that is what we will try to do.

‘At the end of the day we are improving every game. It is all new still, so we’re all still getting to know each other and getting to grips with the way we want to play.

‘We started the season really strongly and are going to get stronger

‘We will take Saturday’s defeat and analyse that and move on from it.

‘Although obviously it could have been better.’