Boss wanted more first half passion against Newport
Andy Awford says Pompey have to come charging out of the blocks after witnessing a first league defeat of the season.
Andy Sandell’s 84th-minute free-kick was enough to secure victory for Newport at Fratton Park.
It capped a frustrating afternoon for the hosts, who were not allowed to play their usual passing game by a physical County side.
And Awford has warned his troops that they have to learn how to cope with that in order to succeed in League Two.
The Blues boss said: “It’s the first time we’ve lost here under me and it’s never nice to be beaten at home.
“Fair play to Newport because their game-plan worked and they frustrated us all afternoon.
“We had the two best chances of the match – Ryan Taylor was in during the first half and Craig Westcarr the second half.
“But unfortunately we couldn’t convert those opportunities like we have in other games this season.
“I don’t think we did enough in the first half. We’re not going to be able to turn up here every week and pass it around like we did against Northampton.
“We have to make sure that we have enough fire in our bellies from the start to earn the right to win the game.”
Despite hitting the woodwork in the first half, Paul Jones was not overly troubled in Pompey’s goal.
Awford said: “I was pleased with the back three and our defensive shape – Paul didn’t have too much to do.
“We restricted them to one long-range effort and a couple of set-pieces, so in the main we were very good.
“But I think every goal they’ve scored this season has come from a set-piece and unfortunately we couldn’t deal with the one at the end.”