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John Mousinho calls on Portsmouth to be ‘more ruthless’ after Derby draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Sep 2023

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Portsmouth head coach John Mousinho wants his team to be more ruthless despite a stoppage-time goal at Derby maintaining their unbeaten start to the season.

Colby Bishop pounced deep in added time to cancel out James Collins’ 85th-minute penalty in a 1-1 draw.

Until the late drama, there were few clear chances as both teams failed to capitalise on some promising positions.

Portsmouth had kept Derby at arms length until the 85th minute when Martyn Waghorn’s near-post shot was handled by Regan Poole and Collins coolly converted the spot-kick.

That looked to have secured the points but, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Bishop found space in the six-yard box to turn in Terry Devlin’s cross.

Mousinho admitted there was “elation” in the dressing room but wants to see improvement in two areas.

“We need to start games better, we were sloppy in the first half, and I didn’t have to say a huge amount at half-time because I came in and the players were saying ‘we’ve been a bit sloppy in possession’,” he said.

“We had the majority of the chances in the second half and there were a couple of goalmouth scrambles so we need to be more ruthless in that respect definitely but we have to start games better and not wait for things to happen and that’s my problem to address.

“The feeling when we scored was absolute elation but now that things have settled down we slightly rue the fact we haven’t come away with three points.

“In the second half I didn’t have too much criticism, I thought they were really good, we created chances, were brave on the ball and the only thing we didn’t do was put the ball in the back of the net.”

Derby head coach Paul Warne could not hide his disappointment at conceding so late in the game.

“We weren’t at our best, Portsmouth came here in really good fettle and they kept going to the very end but to concede one so late on is disappointing,” he said.

“We can’t leave Bishop in the middle of the six on his own when we’ve got three centre-halves – that is very disappointing.

“We will obviously play a lot better and lose but today, once you’ve got your head in front we should be able to see the game out.

“If we had won everyone would have left the ground thinking great but I wouldn’t have thought that, I just thought we made too many unforced errors today which isn’t really like us.

“I think this team can achieve really good things but we have to perform collectively a little bit higher than that.”

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