Pompey defender revels in consecutive clean sheets

Hermann Hreidarsson and David Nugent share a joke
Hermann Hreidarsson and David Nugent share a joke
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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Hermann Hreidarsson praised Pompey’s new-found defensive resilience as they finally ended their barren Fratton Park run.

Kanu’s goal six minutes from time settled a contest which began so promisingly yet descended into a scrappy affair.

Regardless, it was a first win in eight matches on home turf and a first since beating Nottingham Forest on October 30.

For the Blues, the victory was built on a second-consecutive clean sheet.

A back four consisting of Hreidarsson, Ritchie de Laet, Greg Halford and Ricardo Rocha added another shut out to the one they achieved at Doncaster last weekend.

In truth, they rarely looked like being breached, despite the threat of the impressive Danny Haynes.

And the Icelandic international admitted it was that understanding which helped provide the platform for the 1-0 result which has now lifted Steve Cotterill’s side into 16th spot.

He said: ‘I didn’t realise it was that long since our last home win.

‘That’s two clean sheets in two weeks now and I think we deserved to win those last two games.

‘Is it down to having an unchanged defence? It could be.

‘We are now a little bit settled and because of that you have to say maybe the clean sheets are down to a little bit more organisation.

‘That’s not just down to the defence, everyone is involved in that.

‘You need 11 players to work hard and get something out of the game and we are just at the stage now where we are all digging in for each other.

‘When the rest of the players do that it makes the job easier for the defenders.

‘As defenders, when we do it right it makes the midfielders’ job easier.’

Pompey now find themselves nine points clear of the drop zone after turning their results around.

That has been underpinned by those successive clean sheets, making it five in the season so far.

Suddenly a mid-table finish is on again and with Crystal Palace visiting tomorrow Cotterill’s men can climb even further away.

Not that Hreidarsson thought Saturday’s result was achieved in style.

Far from it.

He added: ‘It was a bit like basketball in the first half, we had a chance and they had a chance.

‘In the second half we had a little bit better hold of the game.

‘It’s not great football all the time, sometimes you just have to grind out a result, like it was today.

‘It wasn’t great football, we created a few chances and one went in from a set-piece.

‘It was a great win, we’ll take that any day.’