Wilder bemoans Morris injury
Last Updated: 20/08/14 2:49pm
Chris Wilder admits losing Ian Morris to an horrific knee injury had an impact on Northampton as they lost 2-0 at Portsmouth.
The Cobblers were undone by first-half goals from Jed Wallace and Craig Westcarr as their unbeaten start to the season came to an end at the hands of Andy Awford's men.
Wilder was generous in his praise of the hosts, but he admits midfielder Morris' season-ending injury was far from ideal preparation for his men.
He said: "We've had a couple of bad days. We lost Ian in training on Monday. I don't know whether that has affected the boys because it was a really bad moment.
"It was a ball in the air and he got his studs stuck in the ground. His full weight went right through his knee. He twisted his knee in a really bad way.
"We had to abandon training and that affected our preparations slightly. I've certainly never seen that before as a manager on the training ground. He's a popular boy. It looks as though he's going to be out for the season."
Wilder is backing Portsmouth to be among the League Two title frontrunners.
He added: "They've strengthened the squad. They're leaving players out of the 18 who are established League Two and above players.
"I don't want to heap anything on Andy but he has stuck a really good squad together - a strong squad.
"We've been beaten by a side I would fully expect to be challenging for the title. They should expect to be up there with the players they've got. They were deserved winners."
Pompey boss Awford is delighted with the talent at his disposal as he enjoyed the luxury of making four changes and watching his team bag a third Fratton Park win in eight days.
He said: "Three points is always pleasing, but the manner that we got them was very good. We played some terrific stuff in the first half and were deservedly two up at the interval.
"I left a couple out tonight to give them a breather. I think we've got such a strong squad that we can get fresh legs in there. We've made changes for every game and the level doesn't drop.
"From that point of view, we are really pleased with the squad we have. When I do make the changes, everybody buys into it. There is no moaning and groaning. They get on with it.
"We've got a good group of players in there and a fantastic team spirit. There is not one bad egg in that dressing room. I'm delighted for them. They have all played their part."