Devera praises Pompey defence

Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Devera. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Joe Devera paid tribute to the work ethic of the Pompey team as they ground out their third clean sheet in succession.

The Blues picked up a point in the dour goalless draw at Dagenham & Redbridge to extend their unbeaten run to three games in a match with precious few goalscoring opportunities at either end.

But the dependable centre-back believes the rediscovered defensive solidity is a positive to build on as Andy Awford’s side attempt to climb the League Two table.

Devera said: ‘I think it’s a positive result. It’s a clean sheet and I felt we were very solid as a whole unit.

‘We were a bit unlucky with a few chances and if any team was going to win, I felt it would be us.

‘But it’s a good platform to build on going into the next game.

‘It’s a 0-0 away from home so we can’t be too disappointed with that.

‘It wasn’t the most thrilling game. But it was always going to be an ugly game.

‘But we showed togetherness and everyone battled for each other.

‘It was a good team effort and everyone put in a shift.

‘It’s three clean sheets so we have to be happy with that.

‘As a defence, it feels solid but that starts with the guys at the other end working hard and doing their bit.’

Pompey only forced Dagenham & Redbridge goalkeeper Mark Cousins into any kind of action once throughout the contest.

And Devera was involved as he attempted a flick-on from a Danny Hollands long throw-in, only for a Dagenham defender to almost deflect it into his own net.

Devera said: ‘I didn’t know too much about it to be honest.

‘I was just trying to flick it on and get something on it.

‘I couldn’t see myself scoring from there, so I was just trying to get it into the area and I turned around and the keeper had made a save. I don’t 
know if it was our best chance but we looked like we were a threat from set-pieces.’

While Awford has returned to the 3-5-2 formation in recent weeks and given Pompey an improved defensive base, there are fears it has blunted their attacking prowess with just one goal scored in three games.

But Devera insisted it had not affected their threat going forward.

He said: ‘I don’t think it takes anything away from us going forward.

‘In the first half, we had plenty of chances and enough to seal the game.

‘In the second half, both teams cancelled each other out but there were still chances.

‘Keeping goals out is a massive thing to work on.

‘If you are hard to beat, it always means you have a chance to nick games.’