Taking a break can be the way forward for Pompey

Andy Awford and Guy Whittingham look on during Pompey's clash at Hartlepool last night    Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford and Guy Whittingham look on during Pompey's clash at Hartlepool last night Picture: Joe Pepler
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Guy Whittingham believes Pompey’s counter-attacking plans are beginning to reap dividends.

The Blues made themselves hard to beat at Hartlepool last night and ended their losing run in the 0-0 draw as a result.

Whittingham and Andy Awford laid down a blueprint to hit Pools on the break and played a 4-2-3-1 formation at Victoria Park.

With James Keene and the impressive Adam Reed out wide, as well as Jed Wallace back in the middle of the park, the plan was to use their pace and energy effectively. It so nearly paid off as Reed charged forward in the dying minutes with a classy run.

Whittingham feels that is the way for his team to operate on the road over the remainder of the season.

He said: ‘Part of the thinking was that they are pushing more and more men forward because they needed to go and get the win.

‘Of course we would like a win but you just think on the back of it “we’ve got some energy in our side with Reed and Wallace”.

‘Then there’s the big front men in John (Akinde) and Pat (Agyemang) who can hold the ball up, so you think “maybe we will get a breakaway”.

‘Reedy got through but it wasn’t to be, but everybody has put a fantastic effort in.’

Shaun Cooper also shifted to the right-back role he operated in when first emerging at Fratton Park, as opposed to his usual midfield position.

Whittingham said: ‘He said afterwards it was like rolling back the years being there.

‘He has done well and we were very solid. Shaun can play one or two positions which is important.’