Hartlepool boss annoyed by defeat to Portsmouth

Luke James takes a tumble
Luke James takes a tumble

His Hartlepool United team may not have anything of note to play for, but for manager Craig Hignett, defeat to Portsmouth was just as disappointing as other losses.

It was Pools’ third consecutive loss after previous defeats to promotion hopefuls Accrington Stanley and Oxford United.

They had that extra quality where it matters.

Although they have been facing teams higher up the league, Hignett was left ruing spurned opportunities.

“We should not have lost this, maybe 1-0 is our own fault, but did two flatter them? It was the same as last week.

“Portsmouth are a strong side, but I’m disappointed because of the chances created and missed.

“They had that extra quality where it matters and they picked out players when they had to and finished when they had to.

“It’s easy to see why I’m disappointed - one on one twice, a header three yards out, Luke (James) six yards out. On another days they are goals – gilt-edged chances.

“We lost again, that’s three now and I’m saying the game thing week after week.”

Rhys Oates and Billy Paynter both missed Pools’ best chances to score and they were opportunites which Hignett believed were the game’s best.

“We had the better chances, I counted seven in the second-half,” he added.

“It was frustrating in front of goal, you need goalscorers in your side and we created so many chances it’s disappointing not to score.

“Our chances were really good, the best in the game.

“It’s fine margins,” he said. “It opened up into an exciting game. I enjoyed watching it.”