Halford: Never say never

Pompey's Greg Halford
Pompey's Greg Halford
Samantha Quayle. Picture: Jordan Hampton

Flying start for Pompey with Cardiff swept aside

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Greg Halford helped Pompey claim their latest scalp on the road and insisted: We’re passing our way to the play-offs.

Halford believes his team can carry themselves into the top six off the back of an attractive brand of football.

Steve Cotterill’s men continued their charge up the table with a 1-0 win at Leicester on Saturday.

That made it a hugely impressive seven wins from nine – with eight clean sheets arriving along the way.

Pompey had to dig deep at times and defend resiliently to shut out Sven-Goran Eriksson’s men.

But Halford believes it is an increasing belief in their footballing ability which is making the difference.

The 26-year-old feels that has been missing at times in a tumultuous campaign for the Blues. Now, though, he reckons anything could be possible over the final eight games of the campaign.

Halford said: ‘It was a desperately needed win.

‘We have had that run but then had two games without a win.

‘So it was a win that meant that we could still stay in contention for the play-offs.

‘We were good at the back but they were a threat from set-pieces and had one chance when the ball flashed across goal in the second-half.

‘I can’t think of a lot else, though.

‘It’s always nice to break records and we broke one earlier in the season with the clean sheets.

‘We’re not thinking about breaking records, though, we’re thinking about getting enough points to get us close to the play-offs.

‘We all have a good understanding now.

‘We are looking to play with the ball, we’re looking to pass it instead of going long all the time.

‘We didn’t do that at times earlier in the season.

‘We’re not just lumping balls forward and feeding off scraps but we are starting to play.

‘We have a good understanding now – the manager has put that into us.

‘And the top six is definitely a possibility. Never say never.’

Halford had to quell the threat of Pompey old boy Yakubu to help his side to their latest success.

He admitted controlling the Nigerian was one of the toughest tests of his career.

Halford said: ‘Yakubu is an absolute machine.

‘He’s the strongest man I have ever played against. He made it tough.

‘They gave us a lot of high balls to deal with, which was horrible with him.

‘He’s definitely the strongest guy I’ve faced, without a doubt. Nobody even comes close to him.

‘I would put that down as a weaker performance from me at centre-back but that was down to Yakubu.

‘He has a lot of experience and he knows how to move his body.

‘If he pulls you out of position he can really use his strength and get at you. He is very difficult to deal with.’