Cowley admits Pompey possession counted for nothing
Sunday, 11th Apr 2021 12:56 by pompey-fans.com staff
Plenty of possession - not nearly enough penetration. That was Danny Cowley's assessment and it was to disagree after Pompey slipped to their first defeat under the new boss as Burton won 2-1 at Fratton Park.
Charlie Daniels' 88th minute header proved too little too late after the Brewers had scored either side of half-time to take control in a game in which Pompey had the ball for three times as long as their visitors.
Cowley told the media afterwards: 'The overriding emotion is frustration because when you concede a soft goal against a team like Burton, you make life difficult for yourself. Our play in the first half was good – with control and rhythm – until we got to the final third, where we didn’t have the execution.
'We rushed quite a few decisions and want to try to upgrade our chances against a side that were dropping to a drop six. You need to move the ball quickly to get inside of them and give passes for your front players to run onto. We tried to force things a bit.
'We needed more penetration and if you don’t have that, then they’ll just sit in. You might have a lot of possession, but you won’t hurt them. It was tough to concede from a free-kick within two minutes of the second half and we made some changes.
'I thought the substitutes sped our play up and meant we showed some real purpose, but we came up short in terms of quality and there’s definitely work for us to do in that area. Credit to Burton because they have a clear, direct style and asked us a lot of questions. You can’t criticise that unless you beat it.'
Pompey go to Crewe on Tuesday evening having slipped to fifth and with the top two now looking impossible to reach.