‘Proud’ - Andy Mangan delivers verdict on Bristol Rovers draw at Portsmouth

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Bristol Rovers conceded a 92nd-minute goal which denied them a first opening day win since 2011/12.

Stand-in Bristol Rovers boss Andy Mangan believes a draw was a fair result in their stalemate against Portsmouth.

Luke Thomas gave the Gas a first-half lead but Kusini Yengi scored in the 92nd minute to stop Rovers from claiming an opening day win for the first time in 11 years.

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Rovers were under the cosh and adopted a counter-attacking approach to the game. They had 10 shots with six landing on target, but only had 42% of the ball., The hosts meanwhile had 21 attempts on goal but only five of them landed on target, but had 58% of the ball.

“A draw is probably a fair result,” said Mangan to BBC Radio Bristol.

“Albeit we’ve kept them out right until the 92nd minute. On another day we could have got all three points and the lads are devastated.

“Loads of positives though, to come to Fratton Park and play at times the way we did play, the lads should take a lot of confidence from that.

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“Especially when you’re 1-0 up at a ground like this, you’re going to have to soak pressure up.

“What happens then you have to start hitting teams on the counter and you have to be deadly on the counter and today we let them off a bit on the counter.

“We need to be better at that and it’s something we need to work on.”

Portsmouth were considered one of the favourites for promotion, and Mangan believes that will be a good start for Rovers. The 36-year-old had to manage the team today without any communication with Joey Barton.

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He added: “To come to Fratton Park, one of the league favourites, to go up and perform the way we have and defend the way we have, the lads can be very proud of themselves today.

“Just conceding at the end the way it is, you feel devastated which the lads are. I’ll have to watch the goal back and see where we can improve.

It was a fantastic goal. We had a couple of opportunities on the counter that one ended up in the back of the net. We’ve been working on LT finding himself in those areas. Jevani Brown excellent ball again, really good break, John Marquis really good on the half-way line.

“We’ve just to be better in some areas but the thing is, don’t think i’m on a debbie downer.

“I’m absolutely not, I’m very proud of the players, I thought we defended admirably.

“I thought everyone that came on contributed to the cause and that will be a massive point towards the season.”

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