No conditions for purists but Wallace focused on vital result

Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Colchester United striker Macauley Bonne

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An ugly weather-hampered victory – nonetheless a crucial result from effectively a six-pointer fixture.

That was the verdict of Jed Wallace, having helped Pompey to a priceless triumph over AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

A pitch pounded by the wet weather in the build up and extreme winds on match-day contributed to a poor game of football.

For Richie Barker’s men, though, the result was of overriding importance rather than any Fratton Park display.

Sure enough, Ryan Taylor headed home the only goal of the game in the 52nd minute amid the testing conditions.

And for Wallace it was a vital win as the Blues moved seven points clear of the League Two drop zone.

He said: ‘We knew how important Saturday was, it was almost a bit of a six-pointer.

‘Now we are seven points clear we can hopefully start to look up rather than down, continue to be positive and results can come.

‘The conditions were horrible, I think we’ve got half of Bournemouth beach on the right-hand side of the pitch so it was difficult.

‘Sometimes you have got to play the conditions and that is what all 14 players involved did.

‘We put in 110-per-cent effort and we got what we deserved.

‘The problem is, especially with a player like me who likes to run with the ball – as does Ricky Holmes – when you get the ball and it runs into sand there is nothing you can do.

‘I thought I was in at one point and it was going to bounce over the guy’s leg but it is just stopped dead!

‘We are in League Two and it is going to be a scrap until the end of the season and we are fully aware of that.

‘No-one in this league is playing fantastic football, it’s just whoever is organised and not making the most mistakes so hopefully we have cut that out and can push on now.

‘Sometimes the game isn’t going to be there for technical ability so you have got to dig in and give 100 per cent.’

Saturday’s 1-0 victory was a third in the past 10 matches.

It was a fifth clean sheet over that period.

Barker’s side have lost two matches during that spell and Wallace is adamant the improvement can be seen.

He added: ‘The boys were upset after last week and it was a low changing room.

‘We should have won the game and didn’t capitalise from a winning position, it’s ridiculous how many points we have chucked away.

‘This is our livelihood, no-one wants a relegation on their CV let alone at a club like this.

‘This is important to the boys and – as a squad and staff – we live and die by the club and it’s important we start turning it around.

‘It’s not gone as we would have liked at home, obviously.

‘We’ve been hard to beat away from home, and it’s not going to be easy to change the tide of the club.

‘There have been difficult times over the last four years but now I feel over the last 10 games we have really improved, especially defensively.

‘We have not conceded the goals and hopefully if we get it right the other end we will win games.’