Almost out for the count before sweet Suffolk success

David Cotterill bagged his maiden Pompey goal
David Cotterill bagged his maiden Pompey goal
Clive Smith says he would not like to arm wrestle athlete Caster Semenya 		Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

CLIVE SMITH: English pigs? Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

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Thank God we got to half-time at 0-0!

It was like we were a boxer who had been knocked down and the count had reached nine against Ipswich on Saturday.

We got battered in the first half but we got back on our feet with our legs wobbling and somehow made it back to the corner.

But then our head cleared, we stood up, rolled our sleeves up and got on with the job.

Ipswich were on the front foot all through the first half.

I noted seven good chances for Ipswich and Connor Wickham had two glorious opportunities to put them in front.

The first one he missed just before half-time was unbelievable.

After he missed the second one at the start of the second half, it seemed to knock the life out of the home team.

Then David Nugent came up with a great finish to continue this great record he has against them.

It was so important to get to half-time at 0-0 then allow Steve Cotterill to regroup and get to work with the players.

He might have shouted at the players or just focused on tactically telling them what to do.

Whatever approach he took, it did the trick and they have again showed that ability to dig in.

Ritchie de Laet was outstanding for me.

He has such graceful movement.

Then there was that tackle from him on Connor Wickham at the end.

He was brilliant and, with his pace in tandem with David Cotterill, we look a real threat down the right.

We have some games coming out now where we can get a return and I think we are out of the relegation woods now.

That has created this talk about the play-offs but I think 10 points is still a lot of ground to make up.

We would have to deliver top-two form to actually do that.

What I would say though, is I think there is still a lot more to come from this side.

I think they are definitely still capable of playing a lot better.

With the run of games we have now, starting with the visits of Scunthorpe and Sheffield United, there is the opportunity to maybe get on run and put some pressure on the teams above them.

It gives us hope that the season isn’t just going to fade away.