Cotterill's pride after Pompey fightback

Former Pompey midfielder Lassana Diarra

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Steve Cotterill spoke of his pride in his Pompey players after they dug deep once again to seal a courageous point at Leeds United.

The Blues boss saw his battlers go 2-0 behind inside just 10 minutes at a rocking Elland Road, as the hosts threatened to put Pompey to the sword.

But, not for the first time this season, Pompey stemmed the tide and got a foothold back in the game as David Nugent's rocket pulled a goal back before the break.

And, even though Leeds restored their two-goal advantage, a deflected Richard Hughes effort and Andy O'Brien's late own goal saw Pompey grab a draw.

Cotterill said: 'Anyone watching that would have had to be entertained.

'I'm not so sure it was good to be participating in it but it must have been entertaining to watch.

'I'm proud of them. This is a great club we have come to and we're delighted to get a result.'

While Cotterill was critical of his side's start to the game, in which Pompey failed to carry out his instructions, he felt that his men got stronger as the game wore on.

He said: 'Everything we spoke about, the presentation we did last night – all of those things came to fruition (from Leeds) in those first 10 minutes.

'We told them "for the first five or 10 minutes, let's just drop it in behind their full-backs and play in their half".

'But, then there are two minutes and 46 seconds on the clock and we are swanning around with the ball at the back.

'If you look at Leeds, their goal times are always early in the game.

'We have given ourselves a mountain to climb after that.

'On the flip side, we have to be really pleased with the character of our lads to get back into the game again.

'We deserved to come out of that game with at least a draw and we could have won the game at the end.

'I thought we were the better side in the second half.'

Cotterill has been quick to point to his side's character on numerous occasions this season but this was further evidence to his argument.

With the obvious problems surrounding team selection, it would have been easy for Pompey to look for excuses.

Cotterill, though, believes his men are made of sterner stuff.

He said: 'They are a fantastic group of players.

'Nobody will ever know what it's been like to be at Portsmouth in the past six months.

'We've come to one of the in-form teams at a really daunting place to play.

'But they kept going and a draw was probably a fair result in the end.'