Pompey skipper apologises for horror show

Joe Devera apologised for the Newport County horror show and told Pompey fans: We owe you.

Joe Devera pictured after the match at Newport County last night.  Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Devera pictured after the match at Newport County last night. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues skipper saw his side crash out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a whimper as they fell to a 3-0 defeat last night.

Devera took the Pompey armband for the area quarter-final tie in South Wales.

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But he couldn’t prevent the defensive lapses which condemned his side to their second knockout defeat in 72 hours.

Devera offered no excuses for the loss and delivered a no-holds-barred assessment of Pompey’s performance.

The 26-year-old made it clear his side now have to deliver at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Devera said: ‘It’s such a disappointing result – but it was a really bad performance, too.

‘We were nowhere near our proper capability and that is so frustrating to see.

‘We have to learn from this because it’s a big hit and a big kick in the teeth for our fans.

‘There is clearly a lot we need to work on, so we have to go back and look at the reasons why this happened and put it right.

‘Whatever anyone says, we have only got ourselves to blame.

‘Once again the goals being conceded are sloppy.

‘They started off with three strikers, played to get an early goal and sit back.

‘They played to their strengths and we didn’t handle them well enough.

‘It’s individual mistakes – but we need to take responsibility for these mistakes as a team.

‘A lot of supporters have come along to watch this game.

‘They have seen that performance – so we owe them.

‘It was a bad, bad performance.

‘We have to put it right against AFC Wimbledon.

‘We’re looking forward to the chance to put this right.’

Two goals in the first 18 minutes condemned Pompey to their fate, as Newport County blew them away.

Hopes of a fightback were briefly raised when the home side had their skipper, David Pipe, sent off with 23 minutes left.

Instead it was the 10-man home side who killed the game off with eight minutes to go.

Devera feels Pompey need to reflect on how they have let themselves – and their fans – down.

He said: ‘The positive is we are out of the cups and can concentrate on the league.

‘But really there aren’t any positives to take from this.

‘We are still on an unbeaten run in the league.

‘But we have to learn from what has gone wrong in these (cup) games.

‘The dressing room isn’t in the best of spirits.

‘There was a long, horrible journey back on the coach to reflect on that performance.

‘We have to have a good look at ourselves, work hard and put this right.’