McLeod: Ending barren goal run means nothing

Izale McLeod ended Pompey's goal drought but admitted: It means nothing.

The striker finally bagged a Blues strike in last night’s 3-2 defeat against Leyton Orient.

That scrapped the team’s barren run of 546 minutes without hitting the back of the net, since Jon Harley scored at Stevenage four weeks ago.

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McLeod insisted he could take little solace from being the man to score as he tucked away a 56th-minute penalty.

That goal came after his earlier miss from 12 yards after Brian Howard was pulled down by Orient keeper Ryan Allsop in the first half.

There was frustration all round at an insipid display from Pompey, particularly in the opening 45 minutes at Fratton Park.

McLeod was adamant the tumultuous time the players had been going through of late was no excuse for the seven-game losing run his side are now on.

He said: ‘Our first-half performance was nowhere near what we expect from ourselves.

‘The second half was better but it wasn’t good enough.

‘We got two goals and created chances.

‘That’s at least something we can take from the game.

‘We need to work better defensively as a team.

‘I guess we’ll win more than we lose if we play like we did in the second half but it still wasn’t good enough.

‘It hasn’t been good for the past four or five weeks.

‘It’s been a bit of a whirlwind with Michael Appleton going but we have to get on with it.

‘We can’t come out with excuses with what’s going on.

‘We’re here to play football regardless of what’s going on behind the scenes.

‘It’s hard for me to be happy for scoring because we’ve done nowhere near well enough as a group. It doesn’t really mean anything without the result.

‘I’ve got 10 goals this season but I’ll be happier when the win comes.’

McLeod explained the Pompey players were given a half-time dressing down for the weak manner of their performance against Orient.

Academy boss and former Pompey playing stalwart Andy Awford made it clear to the team in no uncertain terms that their lack of passion and graft was not acceptable.

McLeod felt the blast was totally deserved after the team were booed off by the home fans.

The 28-year-old believed there was a marked improvement from Pompey after the restart as they began to create chances.

But he promised the team were under no illusions that the standard of play and work-rate is not up to scratch from Pompey.

McLeod said: ‘We had the riot act read to us at half-time. It was right that it should have been that way.

‘We deserved it for how we performed.

‘It’s hard to put your finger on why it’s happened.

‘But the one thing we do know is it’s not acceptable.

‘We came out with more purpose after the break but couldn’t get the extra goal that we needed to get something.

‘It needs to be much better than it has been for the past few weeks.’