Midfielder’s frustration at one of league’s worst defensive records

Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler

Only Cheltenham and Torquay surpass Pompey in League Two’s goals conceded stakes at present.

A startling statistic for a side with play-off ambitions and inevitably the dead weight behind the ongoing failure to haul themselves above 16th spot.

Jed Wallace is only too aware the 26 goals shipped in 15 league matches are crippling Guy Whittingham’s team.

At the other end they are the joint-fourth highest scorers with 23, along with second-placed Chesterfield and eighth-placed Morecambe.

Wallace has contributed four of those goals, Patrick Agyemang the same tally and David Connolly leads with way with five.

Yet it is in defence the problems continue to mount for Whittingham’s side.

Wallace said: ‘From my point of view you cannot continue to just make excuses.

‘You need to put a proper run together of winning games, climbing the table and being hard to beat rather than hoping we are going to win every game 4-3.

‘I want to win 1-0 – that is how you climb the table.

‘We have conceded the third most goals in the league and scored the fourth most.

‘You don’t get promoted winning games 6-5, you get promoted winning 1-0 and 2-1, certainly not as open as we are playing.

‘We looked at it the other day and out of the 22 conceded before Wimbledon there have been seven that have been really bad goals in the league.

‘Even in the cup, I watched the video of the Newport game – bad goals, Stevenage were tap-ins and goalmouth scrambles, it’s so frustrating.

‘When you think of all the goals we have scored, I haven’t scored a bad goal!

‘I don’t remember Pat scoring a bad goal this season either and that is eight we have managed between us.

‘We have to work so hard for our goals and I just feel at the moment, collectively, we are chucking them away.

‘It’s frustrating. We did set-pieces for 45 minutes on Friday, then they score from two of them on Saturday. It’s annoying to say the least.’

Despite the gloom created by the past two abject performances, Pompey remain only six points away from the play-offs.

Also to take into consideration is their game in hand – a rearranged match against Wycombe next month.

Earlier in the campaign there were some highly-impressive performances undone by defensive frailties, the likes of Accrington and Cheltenham springing to mind.

Whittingham’s team have also been hampered by four sending-offs, although they did hold on to win after Yassin Moutaouakil was sent off at Burton.

In their most recent two matches, though, the encouraging displays have been worryingly absent.

Wallace added: ‘It’s so frustrating when you have a six-game run and then just crumble.

‘There are times we have played and been electrifying, especially at home, like Exeter – the first 20 minutes in the second half it could have been five or six.

‘Suddenly you go to Wimbledon and you cannot get a sniff and it’s difficult to comprehend at times.

‘We were unbeaten for six games and now this – but I am two-million per cent behind the gaffer, as is everyone else in that changing room.

‘And we’ll be looking to turn it all around.’