Bradley: Player togetherness inspired us

Pompey's players in a pre-match huddle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's players in a pre-match huddle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

Picture gallery: Pompey 1 Walsall 1

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Sonny Bradley believes Pompey’s players have been forced to reassess themselves in the aftermath of Guy Whittingham’s Fratton Park exit.

And he is convinced a greater togetherness as a result was behind Saturday’s Hartlepool point.

The Blues ended a run of five successive defeats with a goalless draw at Victoria Park in Andy Awford’s second match as caretaker boss.

It was a case of stopping the rot as they picked up only a fourth league clean sheet of the campaign.

And Bradley, who was the stand-out performer, is adamant it was achieved by a closer bond created among the squad over their sadness at Whittingham’s exit.

He said: ‘I don’t know what fans were expecting on Saturday.

‘We knew Hartlepool were going to be a good team.

‘At the same time, just because we have been beat, doesn’t mean we are bad players. I don’t think we are a bad team.

‘With the players in our squad, whoever the manager is who comes in, he will be thinking there’s a good squad there, a good set of players, what is going on?

‘We have finally registered that and had that little look around the dressing room and just got a bit of togetherness.

‘In the past week we have been so much closer as a team and a group and I think it reflected on the pitch.

‘We were talking more, fighting for every ball and got a clean sheet.

‘We can’t be a bunch of individuals. We have had performances individually where some of us have been outstanding but we have been beaten, so it’s no good.

‘Everyone was on the same wavelength at Hartlepool. I don’t think anyone stood out and played amazing more than the rest of us.

‘We were all a good eight out of 10 and that is what we all needed. We were so close together.

‘If you can do that every game and then have a couple of individuals who do stand out, who do spark and get a couple of goals then maybe we will win two or three nil.’

Meanwhile, Bradley paid tribute to Pompey’s axed boss.

He added: ‘I like Guy. I have loved him as a manager. I thought he was very good compared to some I have worked under.

‘I suppose it’s one of those things in football.’

– NEIL ALLEN