SWINDON Town manager John Sheridan blasted his side for once again giving themselves an early mountain to climb following a 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

With Town looking for a solid foundation to build into the game from, Sheridan’s men conceded inside the first 10 minutes when Ronan Curtis volleyed home Charlie Daniels’ free-kick at the back post.

The visitors were left chasing the game for the rest of the first 45 before a slightly better opening 15 minutes of the second threatened to pave a way back into the contest.

However, Dominic Thompson’s foul on Callum Johnson gave Ellis Harrison the chance to take the game away from Swindon just after the hour – which he duly did.

Reacting to an 18th league defeat of the season, Sheridan said: “We’ve made life very difficult for ourselves with the start we gave them.

“We told the players how good they are at getting balls in the box, so to not give cheap free-kicks away, and we give one away after 10 minutes which they score from. We know they’re a threat on their own patch.

“I can take good things from the game, but we haven’t scored again, and we’ve given a penalty and a free-kick away.

“Even the second goal, we’re just getting into the game and we’re unlucky not to score ourselves.

“We hit the post, and just as we’re getting a foot hold in the game, we go and give a very cheap penalty away to make life so very difficult for ourselves.”

Pompey dominated the first 45 at Fratton Park, and only a couple of Jack Payne chances broke up what was largely one-way traffic.

However, after the impressive Christopher Missilou clipped the outside of the post shortly after half-time, Portsmouth briefly showed nerves for the first time.

But another costly mistake saw Kenny Jackett’s men re-establish their dominance, and Town failed to show much more bite after the second goal went in.

Sheridan said: “We can’t get off to the starts we are – I told them again after the game, you’ve got to demand from each other. You can’t let little things go and little things happen in games.

“We’re climbing a mountain every time we go out on the pitch by conceding poor goals early on in games.

“There’s a bit of pride there with the second-half performance, but we should be going in 0-0 still in the game.

“We keep getting punished for the mistakes we make, and a lot of the time we end up chasing the game.”