Mirfin: Hartlepool must focus for full 90 minutes

David Mirfin in action for Hartlepool United during their 1-0 away loss at the hands of Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID
David Mirfin in action for Hartlepool United during their 1-0 away loss at the hands of Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United defender David Mirfin rued Portsmouth’s goal after believing that his new side were worthy of a point, writes Chris Bell.

The 29-year-old has joined from Scunthorpe United on an initial one-month loan deal and was deployed in a three-man defence alongside youngsters Scott Harrison and Dan Jones at Fratton Park.

The trio refuted Pompey’s attacking forays, restricting the dominant hosts to few serious chances until Matt Tubbs beat Jones in the air to power home the winner beyond Scott Flinders in the 60th minute.

Mirfin admits that Pools’ dearth of attacking play – they failed to register a shot on target – was a concern but nevertheless felt a point would have been justified.

“We’ve came in disappointed with the goal,” Mirfin told SportMail.

“It’s good play by them but sloppiness and a loss of concentration by ourselves.

“They had a lot of the ball, which they’re going to have at home, and you have got to be patient for the chance to win it back for them which I thought we had done.

“We limited them to a few balls into the box and every time they got to the by-line we pulled it back.

“We defended well and Scotty said that he hasn’t had anything to do apart from pick the ball out of the net.

“He’s disappointed with 1-0 when we could have been good valuable for 0-0 and a clean-sheet. When you’ve worked so hard all game, not only as a back three but a team, it’s a disappointment.

“We weren’t the best when we had the ball which was another disappointment especially when you come to a place like this where you’ve got to create chances.

“But there are positives to take out of it to build on for tomorrow night against Northampton Town.”

The Yorkshireman drew on past experience to offer his assessment of what Pools need to do to hold on to games.

“A lot of it is if you can concentrate for 90 minutes then you’re not going to lose games,” he added.

“In any league if you have three little lapses of concentration then more often than not it’s going to result in a goal.

“That’s what happened which is disappointing.”

Mirfin was a mainstay in the Scunny side that won promotion to League One last season, but a knee injury three days into pre-season in the summer has curtailed his involvement in the Iron side this campaign and Saturday’s game was his first since last May.

He added: “It’s been a long time coming so it was probably more of a mental thing to get out there and get it under my belt.

“It was last minute on Monday [when he heard about Pools’ interest].

“It’s good to get something sorted and hopefully it’s a move that will benefit three parties, me personally, trying help out here and give the gaffer back at Scunthorpe something to think about.”