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McCall reacts to Portsmouth clash

16 March 2019

Manager Stuart McCall admitted he was disappointed with his side’s offensive play during the 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth.

Two second-half goals from Omar Bogle and Jamal Lowe gave promotion-chasing Pompey the victory.

After the match, McCall gave his reaction to iFollow Iron: “For all their possession, we soaked it up well and then when we went a goal down, we had to open up a little bit more against a side who have a lot of attacking threat. 

“It was always going to be tough coming to a side that are pushing at the top of the league. 

“I think they are 27 points above us and that showed today that they are better than us, so we had to be at our best. Unfortunately, we weren’t.

“They were the better side on the day and the league table does suggest that they are better than us, which is a fact, but that still didn’t mean we couldn’t have got something from here. 

“We were hopeful and confident that we would, but obviously we didn’t in the end.”

McCall decided to start with wing-backs and Kyle Wootton and Lee Novak up front, however he felt his side failed to keep the ball well for the duration of the 90 minutes.

“I was disappointed with our offensive play,” said the manager.

“I wanted to play two up front with Kyle and Novs so that we could carry a threat and not just play a 4-5-1 and be sat back. 

“We couldn’t get the wing-backs as forward as we would have liked and we didn’t look after the ball well enough.”

Defensively, there were some solid blocks, tackles and good saves from Jak Alnwick in the match.

McCall thought that his side frustrated Portsmouth for long periods of the contest, after starting with three centre halves.

McCall said: “Harrison (McGahey) came in for Levi (Sutton) who was injured. 

“Even though they play with two wide men, those wide men are dummying as strikers, so we needed an extra body in there. For long periods of the game, we frustrated them.

“We knew there would be crosses coming into the box and we would have to defend them better, which we did to a point.”

Next Saturday, Scunthorpe are on their travels again, as they face Rochdale away.

McCall believes his side will be better next time out: “Every game is important at this stage. 

“The crowd get behind them here and it is a tough place to come, but we aim to be better and we will be next week.”

See much more from Stuart McCall and Harrison McGahey on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign up.

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