Stevenage manager Steve Evans has accused a Portsmouth player of disrespecting a member of his squad during Saturday’s goalless draw between the two sides.
Despite enjoying some promising moments throughout the game, Pompey were only able to secure a draw for the third time in five league games this season and that has left them sat just outside of the League One play-off places.
Tensions ran high across a keenly-contest 90 minutes and Evans could not hide his annoyance after he alleged a member of John Mousinho’s side had made disparaging comments towards defender Nathan Thompson, who missed the game as he serves a suspension.
He said: “Let’s break it down, they’re a tremendous side, a huge budget, huge expectations but the owners said in the summer they have to win promotion. So John is under that pressure to deliver a team that wins promotion.
“We had to endure one or two unsavoury moments at the end but that’s normal. Somebody telling Nathan Thompson he must be being paid a fortune to play here, the Pompey lad concerned, who I won’t name, he’s better than that. He’s a really good player, he doesn’t need to say things like that.”
The alleged incident played a part in what was a tetchy end to the contest as the on-field tension spread to the sidelines as there were some crossed words between the two benches as full-time approached. Evans doubled down on his claim that Pompey manager Mousinho is under pressure to succeed and insisted his rival will ‘learn along the way’ as his time in the dugout continues.
“They’re under huge pressure, aren’t they?” he explained.
“We are under our own pressures to win football matches, they just have to win football matches. It’s Portsmouth Football Club that’s coming here. Look at their support they bring, look at the whole press coverage they demand because it’s such a great football club.
“John is a good young manager and he’ll learn along the way, won’t he?”
There was some controversy just before the hour-mark when both sides were reduced to ten men after a coming-together between Pompey star Joe Rafferty and Stevenage midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey.
The decision provoked frustration on both benches with Pompey boss Mousinho admitting he felt neither player deserved such a strict punishment. Boro manager Evans confirmed he had not seen the incident but revealed he would take action if he felt Forster-Caskey was in the wrong.
He said: “I just saw there was a coming together between both lads. I’m looking elsewhere to make sure the shape at the back is right and then there’s a collision of legs. I one hundred percent didn’t see it. If I see it and my player is out of order, then I would say he’s out of order. When I get the video, I’m an experienced manager, it’ll be a fine, simple.”