Pompey caretaker boss banks on Coventry boost

Pompey'S dramatics at the Ricoh Arena can provide the crucial confidence boost they have craved.

Monday, 26th November 2012, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:12 pm

That’s the verdict of Guy Whittingham, who looked on as Izale McLeod struck deep into stoppage-time to snatch a 1-1 draw at in-form Coventry on Saturday.

The Sky Blues had earlier twice struck the bar, while debutant keeper Alex Cisak emerged as the visitors’ man of the match.

Pompey left the midlands with a precious point to lift them out of the relegation zone – and halt a slide of seven consecutive defeats.

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Now their caretaker boss believes they have the makings of a solid foundation to build on.

Whittingham said: ‘That result was massive.

‘We probably had close to a 1,000 people with a smile on their face driving back down to Portsmouth that night. It’s so nice to feel you actually made people smile – and the fans have been fantastic.

‘I am just hoping it gives everybody a bit of a boost now.

‘Any equalising goal in the last minute is like a win.

‘With that run of defeats it will now bring a little bit of belief into the side.

‘Football relies on confidence so much.

‘It’s hard to think how you lose it but it’s very hard to get back.

‘Who knows, it might just set us off on a decent little run.

‘But whenever you have a team that works hard and stays in the game like we did, with the run we’ve had, you take the point whether we deserved it or not.

‘Saturday was all about working hard.

‘It was about making sure everybody stayed concentrated and shifted at the right times.

‘You close them down and stop them from playing.

‘It’s not an easy thing to do, sometimes you can be tempted just to run off and close the nearest man.

‘You have just got to be patient so you don’t go off and cause a problem behind you.

‘If you are organised and stay solid then any team is going to be hard to break down.’

Coventry will certainly feel they did enough to warrant a victory from the encounter.

Whittingham himself admitted Pompey had their share of luck.

But he believes they are perfectly entitled to some good fortune after a miserable past month.

He added: ‘We’ve had a bit of luck but then we haven’t had luck in other games. It’s swings and roundabouts.

‘Coventry play very fluent football. They play a system where they have one striker up front, three behind and two sitting.

‘We tried to counter that early on and I think we did.

‘I think it confused them a little bit but then they got ahead of the game and we couldn’t let that carry on, so we then had to change shape and go to a 4-3-3.

‘I think as soon as we did that their chances stopped.

‘We got our goal at the end because we managed to stay organised and the players put a real shift in.’