Pompey boss: I’m proud of you

Jamal Lowe leads the celebrations after his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe leads the celebrations after his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nathan Thompson celebrates Pompey's victory over Wigan. Picture: Joe Pepler/ PinPep

Pompey 2 Wigan 1: Match ratings

Brett Pitman opened the scoring for Pompey against Wigan. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pitman: Pompey can beat anyone in this league

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KENNY JACKETT toasted his gusty Pompey troops and said: I’m proud of you.

The Blues inflicted only a sixth League One defeat of the campaign on Manchester City-conquerors Wigan.

Momentum can help us at the right time. It’s okay talking about that, but we still have six very, very important games to keep the momentum going

Kenny Jackett

In doing so, they twice breached the best defensive record in the division for a 2-1 triumph.

Fratton Park was at its atmospheric best as Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe put Kenny Jackett’s men on the way to ruin Paul Cook’s return.

The Blues boss didn’t even make any substitutions as his tireless side claimed a victory brimming with heart and desire.

It leaves Pompey in seventh spot – outside the play-off positions on goal difference with six matches remaining.

Jackett said: ‘Four consecutive wins at the right time of the season very much keeps fifth and sixth places alive.

‘It was a big performance, the crowd really came into it and got behind the lads, driving them on and at a key time of the season for us.

‘Wigan are a very good side and they showed that last night as well, they dominated the last 30 minutes and we would always want to be in a situation where we could do it for 90 minutes.

‘But I am proud of the players, proud of their effort and proud of the way the supporters understood and got behind us and really drove us on.

‘If you are looking at the sides challenging for the play-offs, Bristol Rovers are now 54 points in 10th and three sides are on 61.

‘Generally, as the games go on, it becomes more and more difficult for teams and fewer sides are in the equation.

‘The most important thing is we are in the equation and I still think it is open for fifth and sixth for us, they are big places to go for.

‘Momentum can help us at the right time. It’s okay talking about that, but we still have six very, very important games to keep the momentum going.’

Pitman’s 40th minute penalty opened the scoring – and also marked his 20th goal of a prolific campaign.

Lowe added to that with a smart turn and finish on 55 minutes for his eighth of the campaign.

There was a late scare when Will Grigg headed home substitute Gary Roberts’ centre from the left on 89 minutes.

And Jackett was quick to point out two excellent second-half saves from Luke McGee which ultimately proved decisive.

He added: ‘I felt for an hour we were very good and went 2-0 up, but there were two great saves from the goalkeeper (McGee) which were clear-cut chances as well.

‘Nick Powell was through, he is such a good finisher, it’s a terrific one that he’s got something and it has gone onto the bar.

‘Then there was a point-blank stop from Grigg’s volley.

‘Sometimes you need those type of situations to work for you. We defended heroically, but in that particular period really should have stuck to our game plan and been able to defend higher up the pitch.’