'We haven't sacrificed attacking football for defensive stability': John Mousinho defends Portsmouth playing style ahead of Peterborough visit

John Mousinho has been frustrated by successive goalless draws for Pompey. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
John Mousinho has been frustrated by successive goalless draws for Pompey. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

And he’s convinced the crucial balance the Blues so desperately crave will be achieved once a ‘few things click’.

Mousinho’s men face Peterborough at Fratton Park on Saturday following successive league goalless draws.

In League One, Pompey haven’t conceded for 426 minutes, although the flipside is failure to net during their last 200 minutes.

Certainly it has been a frustrating start to the campaign for a side which enters September in seventh spot, boasting the division’s best defensive record.

But Mousinho refutes suggestions his playing approach prioritises not conceding over scoring.

He told The News: ‘The beauty of football is it’s all about opinions and I don’t think we are sacrificing goals by being defensively solid.

‘I don’t see a side playing within themselves, sitting deep, being negative, that doesn't want the ball, that doesn’t want to take chances.

‘I see a team which is very, very solid defensively off the ball and then, on the ball, we want to be expansive, to play good football, to move it quickly and go forward - but we’re letting ourselves down in key moments.

‘We are not quite sharp enough in the way we move the ball when we get to their half, we take too many touches, we don’t get enough bodies into the box. I don’t think any of that is a consequence of being solid defensively.

‘I think we can do both. We’re not sacrificing anything defensively because we already want to get our full-backs high and to release central midfielders into the box.

‘I just think we need a few things to click, a few players to really step up to the plate – and we can then have the best of both worlds.

‘Looking at us, we don’t go ultra safe and every time we get the ball go long and derisk the entire situation, we still want to try to play. We are not being too cautious or too defensive.

‘We have players who can handle the ball a lot better than they are. We have shown that in games where we’ve been sharp and have attacked well, looking like a threat.

‘We have to make sure we achieve that consistency.’

The Blues managed to find the back of the net in Tuesday night’s 1-1 Carabao Cup draw with the Posh, with the visitors winning the penalty shoot-out 5-4.

But the previous match was another League One blank, this time at Stevenage last weekend.

Mousinho added: ‘At Stevenage the game was fairly even in terms of chances created and shots.

‘Although we dominated possession and felt we could have done a lot better in creating – and, to me, it felt that was a bit of an opportunity missed again.’