Pompey skipper dedicates victory to boss

Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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Liam Lawrence savoured Pompey’s dramatic Blackpool triumph and told Steve Cotterill: That was for you.

Erik Huseklepp’s spectacular stoppage-time winner secured the points for the Blues on Saturday.

It was a second win of the campaign as Cotterill’s men continue to gel after major summer squad surgery.

The players opted to celebrate with their manager when the Norwegian international’s decisive goal was netted.

To a man they converged upon Pompey’s dugout to mob Cotterill and his coaching staff amid jubilant celebrations.

It was a touching moment which reflected the players’ feelings for their manager.

And Lawrence believes that public display also indicated the togetherness of a squad which remains united.

Pompey’s skipper said: ‘You could see what that goal meant to us all.

‘When it went in we all went over to the gaffer.

‘We felt as though we let him down last week.

‘We wanted to put things right and show everybody, including the guys upstairs, we are all together and are going to be in this until the end of the season.

‘I said in the huddle before the game that we owe it to ourselves, to the manager and the supporters that we all had a good celebration.

‘We decided we would all go over to the bench and show our support for each other.

‘So we celebrated with the manager, the physio, the doctor, Barry Harris – it was brilliant and shows that we are united.

‘It was a brilliant, brilliant feeling. It felt like we had all scored. It was weird.

‘I can tell you, if we are not all together then we are good actors.

‘If you had been in the dressing room afterwards you would have seen it was as if we had just won the play-offs.

‘That’s what it means to us and we are just hoping the supporters realise we are trying every single day in training to turn this club around and get it back to where we want to be.

‘It has just not clicked yet but hopefully the fans can see we are getting there.’

Lawrence played his part in a result which lifted the gloom from the previous weekend’s abject display at Hull.

Pompey have the opportunity to continue climbing the table when they entertain Peterborough tomorrow.

And for the Blues skipper, the Blackpool victory was fully deserved.

He added: ‘Tal has been kicking Erik in training all week to try to toughen him up.

‘He was awesome against Blackpool. We’re going to have to kick him every week.

‘It was tough on Saturday at times. You could see what a good footballing side Blackpool are.

‘They played through us at times with good quality but never really hurt us.

‘For all the ugly things we did, the result in the end was fair because we worked our socks off and had a couple of chances near the end.’