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Artell: "You Can't Gift Any Team A Two Goal Head Start"

21 November 2020

Boss says heavy defeat at Portsmouth was mostly self-inflicted as Pompey score four.

David Artell couldn’t disguise his disappointment after his usually reliable defence conceded some soft goals at Fratton Park. For the first time this season we were the culprits of our own downfall.

Crewe surrendered possession too cheaply in our back third to gift Ronan Curtis a brace before the half-time interval. Those mistakes in the 15th and 40th minutes cost us after we had made a really positive start to the game against Kenny Jackett’s side.

When the Pompey skipper, Tom Naylor, beat Will Jaaskelainen with a shot from long range just eight minutes into the second half, it was over as a contest and it wasn’t a surprise that a flurry of changes came from both sides taking advantage of the new 5 subs ruling.

A wrong decision from the officials led to the home side’s fourth goal from a throw-in, which rightly incensed the Alex staff and players - but that just about summed up a frustrating afternoon for everyone involved. John Marquis scored off his own rebound after it struck the Crewe crossbar.

Crewe have now played all of the top seven and after a bad day at the office, the Alex can now focus on Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night.

Following the 4-1 defeat at Fratton Park, the Alex boss told us: “If you give any team a two goal head start then it becomes a tough afternoon. I didn’t think there was much in it in the first half, apart from we gifted them those two goals. In fact, if anyone looked more promising in the first half it was us - but goals change games, it’s as simple as that.

“Portsmouth took their chances and we didn’t. Bottom line, goals win games. We gave them some stuff at half time and a few minutes later it is 3-0. It became a long afternoon and it was mostly self-inflicted.

“I said in there, if we are going to concede goals, I would rather concede them trying to play football but there is a limit to that was well. To lose possession twice like that is beyond that limited.

“The fourth official and the linesman said it was our ball for the fourth goal, the referee who was on the wrong side gave it to Portsmouth. They tell us before the game they don’t want quick throw ins and then we have that.

“He also gave us a penalty that was never a penalty as well, so it’s not sour grapes. That is me being honest. There were lots and lots of little things that they got wrong today, the ones you hope referees get and then the major ones that leads to goals. We just need them to be more consistent with it.

“I certainly am not using that as an excuse or to deflect because we have self-inflicted that defeat on ourselves today.

“We have had the second hardest start of any team in the league, certainly away from home with the games we have had. We have now played the top seven, so we are doing alright.

“If you would have said six points from Peterborough, Oxford and Portsmouth? I might have taken seven. We are going along alright."

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