Crewe boss Steve Davis praised his side’s defensive resilience as they held Pompey to a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Gresty Road.
The result represented a first clean sheet of the campaign for both sides, with Davis happy to pick up a point from a Blues side he expects to be challenging for title honours this season.
As it was, Saturday’s stalemate failed to live up to the attacking open affair many had predicted, with defences on top throughout the clash and neither goalkeeper overworked.
Speaking to the Stoke Sentinel, Davis said: ‘I thought we did all right.
‘For a 0-0 I thought it was a good, competitive game and both sides tried to win it and have a go.
‘It just needed something a bit more, maybe some individual quality from one of the players, but fair play to both defences, they did well.
‘A clean sheet really pleased me, especially against a good side with players who have played higher.
‘We kept our concentration well throughout on the whole – I thought the back four did well and Ben (Garratt) didn’t really have a save to make, though neither did their goalkeeper in fairness.
‘Neither team really tested each other but I thought it was a decent game considering.
‘Without a doubt they will be up there at the end of the season.’
Crewe’s work-rate also earned the praise of Davis, as the hosts dug deep for the cause following Tuesday night’s energy-sapping extra-time win at League One Sheffield United in the EFL Cup.
He added: ‘I thought we looked a bit tired towards the end, we had two hours of football at Sheffield United the other night and a long trip back, after another long journey the Saturday before and I thought a few did look jaded.
‘Billy (Bingham) hadn’t trained for three days because of his ankle and we did look a little tired but everyone has worked their socks off and given me everything.’