Cotterill lauds Ashdown's spirit after op

Pompey were crowned league champions on this day in 1949. Picture: Pompey History Society

On this day picture gallery: Pompey crowned league champions

Steve Cotterill pointed to Jamie Ashdown's amazing recovery from surgery and declared: That shows our spirit.

The Blues goalkeeper underwent an emergency appendix operation just nine days before Pompey's 2-0 win at Norwich City, which fired them back into the play-off reckoning.

And just days after secretly going under the knife, Ashdown returned to action and produced a fine display as the Canaries bossed the first half, only for Pompey to hit back in the second period.

While Ashdown claimed just his third clean sheet of the campaign, Cotterill was delighted at another chapter of the togetherness in the squad.

The Blues boss said: 'It was a massive win for us. Norwich were on a fine run of form and it's a very tough place to go to get a result.

'They were the better side in that first half and we had to show a lot of character – nobody epitomised it more than Jamie Ashdown.

'He had to have an emergency appendix operation nine days ago and got himself out there.

'That epitomised the spirit and character in the dressing room.

'It was a tough game for him and he came through it with flying colours.'

While Norwich were well on top in the first half, Cotterill performed his own surgery on the formation at the interval to push David Nugent wide and Pompey looked far better after the break.

Cotterill said: 'We changed it in the second half after I managed to have a close look at it and we managed to get the right result in the end.

'We knew that we had to change the formation for the second half and it worked.'