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John Mousinho remains positive despite Portsmouth’s draw at 10-man Blackpool

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Mar 2024

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Portsmouth boss John Mousinho refused to be too downbeat despite his side being forced to settle for a goalless draw against 10-man Blackpool.

Pompey’s lead at the top of Sky Bet League One was cut to five points as they failed to get past the Seasiders, who were forced to dig in after Jordan Rhodes was dismissed just before half-time.

But Mousinho took plenty of encouragement from the way his side played even though they were unable to break down a resolute Blackpool side, who extend their unbeaten home league run to eight games.

“We’re disappointed with the point,” said Mousinho. “We wanted to come here and win the game regardless of whether we were playing 10 or 11 men.

“The context that we played against 10 men for the best part of 50-55 minutes and created plenty of chances as well, we’re gutted that we didn’t win it.

“There were a lot of pleasing points. We created quite a few openings. When you create as many chances as we have and their goalkeeper comes away with man of the match, I can’t complain too much.

“Blackpool have one of the best home records in the league. They beat Bolton here. They sit in and defend really well.”

Mousinho felt the red card shown to Rhodes for a raised arm on defender Joe Rafferty was harsh, but believed Blackpool still deserved to be reduced to 10.

“I thought the red card was harsh. Jordan Rhodes leads with his arm. We’d have been aggrieved if it was us,” Mousinho added.

“I thought the challenge on Callum Lang is far worse and that’s a straight red. That was the worse challenge of the two.”

That was a view echoed by opposite number Neil Critchley, who was delighted with a point given his side’s numerical disadvantage.

“I’m really pleased we’ve picked up a point,” he said. “You’d be pleased before the game with where they are in the league, but obviously we’ve gone down to 10 men quite early on.

“I think it’s a harsh sending-off. It really puts you behind the game and gives you a mountain to climb.

“I’m really pleased of the way the boys have dug deep to get something out of the game. We showed great character, especially after having a man sent off.

“We had some chances and, on another day, could have nicked it, but we take the point. They had their chances, of course they did. We had to defend well. They are one of the best teams in the league for a reason.

“The crowd were fantastic and really got behind us when we needed them. You fill the crowd with passion and it really helps. When everyone’s together it’s brilliant.”

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