Writer: Ollie Sheehan
Date:Sunday April 2 2006
Chris Coleman has expressed his frustration at his side's bad defending after the 3-1 defeat to Portsmouth.
With a home game against a struggling but resurgent Portsmouth Coleman expected to take three points.
But despite the win over Chelsea and the draw against Aston Villa and keeping two clean sheets in the process, Coleman felt badly let down as his side crashed 3-1 at the Cottage to Pompey.
Coleman is aware of the cracks in his backline but has so far done little to remedy the problem.
Now though, as it has become an all too apparent problem all season, he has at least been able to stand up and admit that enough is enough.
Condemning his side's defensive display he said: 'That's why we're not in the top ten', was his verdict.
'We can beat anybody, we've shown that, but we can also lose to anybody. To go a goal down in the first minute was very disappointing when we've defended so well in the last two games.
Although there was a wonderful moment for Steed Malbranque with his stunning goal for the equaliser, Coleman believes that the side are not doing enough in games, and the lack of effort seems to be taking it's toll.
'It was a great goal from Steed, a fantastic finish but we defend badly again. We decided to give them a chance from a throw-in on the half way line. There was nothing we could have done about their third goal, but when we got our chances we should have been hitting the back of the net.
'There's light at the end of the tunnel for us and they're scrapping for their lives'.
'You could see that two games ago with us. Up against Chelsea, we'd lost four on the bounce, we had to come out fighting and we did. If you look at the last three fixtures; Chelsea home, Villa away and Portsmouth home, bearing in mind our home form, we're looking at this match as three points.
'We've got Sunderland next. They're poor at home, we can't win away - something will give. If they lose next Saturday, that could be it for them. It will be a tough game and it will be a came where there will be a lot of questions asked of us. The north east is not an easy place to go to if you're not prepared to roll your sleeves up.'
Date:Sunday April 2 2006
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