Pompey skipper dedicates win to fans

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey skipper Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Curtis Main celebrates his winner against Charlton in the Checkatrade Trophy with Kal Naismith and Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Michael Doyle saluted Pompey’s rise into the top three and told fans: That’s for you.

The Blues’ 2-0 win at Crawley last night saw them move into the automatic promotion places for the first time since September.

That’s a huge psychologial boost for Paul Cook’s side and rights the wrong of Saturday’s bleak 1-0 loss to Crewe.

Pompey’s 2,300 travelling fans fervently backed their team throughout and chanted their side are on their way to League One.

Skipper Doyle knew the Blues owed their fans after letting them down at Fratton Park at the weekend.

The response was just the fillip which was needed as Christian Burgess and Kyle Bennett’s second-half goals did the damage.

Doyle was delighted his men showed the strength of character to respond to the criticism they received with the victory.

The 35-year-old dedicated the win to the fans who have stuck by their side.

Doyle said: ‘We played well but I understand why people get frustrated with the peformances going from like it was on Saturday to this one. We get just as frustrated.

‘We were aggressive and on the front foot. That’s how we need to be starting games.

‘It’s one result. It’s an opportunity to go third and we’ve taken it.

‘We were under big pressure. We knew we would have a big travelling support like we had.

‘We saw the response on Saturday, so we were under massive pressure.

‘We owed ourselves that but, more importantly, we owed the fans and everyone who travelled to the game that performance.

‘It would have been easy for them to give up on us and drop off.

‘But there wasn’t an empty seat in the ground.

‘We were under pressure, so that was a little result for the fans. We owed them that.’

Doyle knows the deserved success in West Sussex represents a significant leap forward as Pompey turn up the heat on the sides around them.

Plymouth Argyle’s 3-0 loss at home to Blackpool represents another boost to Cook’s men.

Doyle underlined his side have to stay grounded, however, and all focus now turns to producing further success at Colchester on Saturday.

He said: ‘It’s one game. We go again.

‘Look, we have 11 cup finals to go. Now we have a massive game on Saturday.

‘The games keep on building and it’s really tight between three or four teams.

‘We have to keep going and get ourselves ready for the weekend.

‘We know the home form has to be addressed. We know we’ve been up and down.

‘It’s frustrating but we have to deal with it when it comes to Grimsby.

‘But first we have to make sure we’re focused on Colchester.’