Doyle: Point will be crucial come end of the season

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle   Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey skipper Michael Doyle Picture: Joe Pepler
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Michael Doyle insisted Pompey’s point at Crewe could prove crucial come the end of the season.

The Blues were held to a goalless draw at Gresty Road on Saturday as they continue to look for their first win of the new League Two campaign.

Paul Cook’s side opened their 2016-17 account with an opening-day stalemate with Carlisle at Fratton Park.

And another draw in the league at the weekend, this time at Steve Davis’ newly-relegated Railwaymen, means they currently sit 17th in the table with two points.

Skipper Doyle said it was far too early in the season to even look at the standings, with so few games played.

But the former Republic of Ireland international confessed his side’s latest result could play a huge role in their quest to be crowned league champions next May.

‘I’ve never really look at the league table until about eight or nine games in,’ said Doyle.

‘It’s the sort of league that doesn’t really open up to around October or November.

‘And I think when you go away from home to a place like Crewe and get a point, it’s good no matter what time of the year it is.

‘In a sense, the draw was disappointing – we dominated the game but probably didn’t work the keeper enough in that final third.

‘Yet people need to realise that Crewe have a good team.

‘They’ve had a tough couple of years in League One and last year went down. But they’ve certainly regrouped, had a great start to the season and brought in some good senior players, like Ryan Lowe and Chris Dagnall.

‘And if they can keep them lads fit, they’re going to be up there come the end of the season because they have done it year in, year out in this division, getting teams promoted.

‘Over the period of the season we’ll look back on this and think it was a great point.

‘Going up there and getting a point is good, because if they keep their players fit they are going to be up there.’

Pompey dominated possession at Gresty Road, while they also outclassed their hosts in terms of efforts on goal and shots made.

Those stats impressed Doyle – as did the Blues’ determination not to concede when both sides looked to break the deadlock in a lively affair.

The 35-year-old, however, believes there is still plenty of room for improvement.

‘With our start to the game and them being such a young side from midfield to the back, I thought they wouldn’t be disciplined enough and, ultimately, we’d get chances,’ said Doyle.

‘But we sort of let them back into the game, got a little bit sloppy, and maybe the lads thought it was a little bit too easy with misplaced chances.

‘It looked like they were going to catch us on the counter, and we were aware of that at half-time.

‘We made sure that wasn’t going to happen in the second half but I thought we finished the game really strong.’