BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett paid compliments to the strength of Charlton’s midfield after today’s 2-1 defeat at The Valley.
Joe Aribo and Lyle Taylor both scored for the Addicks. It ensured the South London side did the double over one of their promotion rivals.
Jackett said: “They are very, very strong in midfield – very good technical players. At times we didn’t get to grips with that. [Krystian] Bielik in the first half was very, very good.
“In terms of winning, it gave them the edge. They played to their strengths very well.
“In a game like this you are going to have to sustain some pressure and we gave them very few chances. Our key moments weren’t quite there.
“The winning goal was when we were down to 10 [men]. There was nothing anybody could’ve done – Gareth [Evans] had gone off the pitch. He’d gone into the boards and we conceded in that period, which is frustrating.
“After that there were some big chances. [Brett] Pitman’s ball for [Jamal] Lowe was a clear-cut chance. We didn’t finish those chances.
“There are fine moments in big games between good teams and you need to get those moments right to win games. You can’t say you deserve it when you didn’t.”
Jackett is refusing to concede that Portsmouth will be in the play-off. They are two points ahead of Charlton, who moved on to 63 points.
“We’re going to need a real sprint finish – eight or nine wins out of 10. We’re capable of doing that. We’re going to need that type of run to get to the top two and put pressure on the top two.”