Paul Warne bemoans poor finishing as Derby are made to wait for play-off spot
Derby head coach Paul Warne admitted missed chances prevented his team securing a League One play-off place after they were held 1-1 at home by Portsmouth.
A win would have sealed a top-six finish but a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal proved costly.
Derby swarmed all over Portsmouth for the opening 20 minutes but Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fired wide from close range and David McGoldrick was twice denied by Matt Macey.
Portsmouth stunned Derby with their first meaningful attack when Joe Morrell’s ball to the back post was headed in by Colby Bishop.
It could have been worse for Derby but for Joe Wildsmith who made two superb saves in the space of a minute to deny Joe Pigott and then Connor Ogilvie.
Derby pushed Pompey back in the second half and the pressure told in the 71st minute with James Collins volleying home after Curtis Davies flicked on a free-kick.
In front of a 31,000-plus crowd, Derby pressed hard for a winner but Portsmouth stood firm to leave Warne regretting those missed chances.
Warne, whose side are two points above Peterborough with one game remaining, said: “I think for the first 25 minutes we were as scintillating as I’ve seen a team play but we don’t take our chances and sooner or later the opposition are going to create one.
“Then I thought we wobbled massively and for the second part of the first half their goal knocked us and Joe (Wildsmith) kept us in the game.
“When you’re on top you’ve got to take your chances and I just thought that’s what let us down today, we just weren’t good enough in front of goal.
“We created enough chances to take an easy lead and we didn’t and it came back and bit us so I leave here sort of disappointed, sort of pleased, sort of frustrated because I saw how results were going and if we won today it was all over.”
Portsmouth head coach John Mousinho was satisfied with a point.
He said: “It was a mixed game in terms of performance.
“The first half was 20 minutes of us being pretty awful and 25 minutes of us playing some of the best football we’ve played away from home this season.
“We could have been 3-0 up but if it was 3-3 at half-time I don’t think anyone would have had too many complaints.
“Second half we were backs to the wall so there’s plenty we have to work on but a real positive step in the right direction considering the losses away from home we’ve had this season against top-six sides.”