Steve Cotterill shrugged off last night’s Coventry defeat and insisted: We didn’t deserve to lose.
Marlon King grabbed two and Gary McSheffrey the other as the Sky Blues ran out 3-0 winners at Fratton Park.
It was a scoreline Cotterill felt was harsh on his players.
Despite playing the final 20 minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of Hayden Mullins, the Blues still caused the visitors problems. It was that never-say-die attitude which Cotterill applauded.
And he insisted their overall display didn’t warrant such a result.
Cotterill said: ‘It wasn’t a 3-0, no chance.
‘It was very, very tough for our lads. They never gave in, they kept going right until the final whistle and they need to be commended for that.
‘Don’t anyone please tell me we deserved to lose that game. We didn’t deserve to lose it, let alone lose it by a three-goal margin. I would have been absolutely delighted and rubbing my hands if I was Andy Thorn on the way home.
‘He would have been loving it because he knows 3-0 flatters him.
‘I think their goalkeeper has pulled off two or three outstanding saves. He will play in the Premier League that boy.
‘Even when we were down to 10 men we still had three or four opportunities.’
Cotterill kept his players on the pitch at the final whistle for what appeared to be a pep talk.
The Blues boss declined to reveal precisely what was said to his troops.
When they did leave the pitch, though, fans in the south stand gave generous applause in recognition of their efforts.
Cotterill added: ‘One thing for sure is our fans know when they have been given a good run for their money.
‘Unfortunately, it says in today’s papers Portsmouth 0 Coventry 3 – and that is all anybody is ever interested in.’