Boss chuffed as Chelsea serve up double helping

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill gives orders from the touchline
Pompey boss Steve Cotterill gives orders from the touchline
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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Steve Cotterill insisted he was delighted with his side’s efforts as they faced double trouble from Chelsea.

The west London powerhouses fielded two entirely different teams for each half with Ashley Cole, Florent Malouda and Fernando Torres in one team and John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka appearing after the break.

But only a freak Tal Ben Haim own goal separated the two sides, while Luke Varney saw his second-half penalty saved.

And the Pompey boss was encouraged by his team’s performance.

He said: ‘It was a good workout.

‘They put out two fantastic 11s.

‘The worst thing was that the second half looked stronger than the first half and I thought the first half team was strong enough.

‘What a squad they’ve got.

‘It’s nice that Andre (Villas-Boas) has got a good squad like that because he’s a top bloke. A really nice guy.

‘But I’m really pleased with the way our lads have shaped up.

‘For us to make hardly any changes and to stay with the Chelsea lads for 90 minutes was a mammoth task.

‘In the end, we could have won it because we had a few chances and you just never know.

‘Their keeper also made a great save from Luke’s penalty.

‘But we haven’t gained any points and we haven’t lost any.’

While Chelsea were not at peak fitness or sharpness, they were packed full of quality and showed flashes of their class as they picked up the 1-0 success.

Cotterill said: ‘There were a few of our lads that had good games.

‘They were playing top players out there.

‘Chelsea had a few sharp one-twos in and around us and got shots away but they don’t just do that to us.

‘These Chelsea lads do it against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

‘We’re not above our station to think that it’s not going to happen to us at times.

‘We lost the game 1-0 with an own goal and missed a penalty so things could have been better.

‘But it could have been worse in winning the game and having two or three bad injuries and we don’t want that.’

– STEVE WILSON