Pompey midfielder toasts ‘point earned’

Stuart O'Keefe on his return against Rochdale. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Stuart O'Keefe on his return against Rochdale. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Pompey skipper Brett Pitman in action against the Hawks Picture: Neil Marshall

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Stuart O’Keefe branded it Pompey’s ‘point earned’ after a late comeback at struggling Rochdale.

A poor Blues appeared set for a 3-2 defeat at the relegation-threatened hosts on Saturday as they failed to match their Wigan heroics.

You cannot underestimate a draw away from home when you are not playing well

Stuart O’Keefe

Then, two minutes into stoppage time, Matt Done headed past his keeper for a bizarre own goal to level the scores.

It was certainly more than Kenny Jackett’s men deserved, despite three times coming back to equalise.

Pre-match, the outcome may have been deemed two points dropped in the promotion push.

But substitute Stuart O’Keefe, back in action for the first time since December 16, insisted the context meant it was a point to be applauded.

He said: ‘I think it was a point earned.

‘You have to look at it like that, we can’t be too down about it because Rochdale are in good form, they’ve had a good FA Cup run, with one defeat in nine.

‘We went behind three times and came back – that shows the character and strength of the group.

‘We stuck by it and ground out a point when we’ve not been at our best.

‘It was end-to-end, a bit of a scrappy game, no-one really took control of it. But we didn’t let them get away from us, we always managed to hang on or get a block.

‘We just kept ourselves in the game – and at this level it doesn’t take much to get a chance and nick a point here or there.

‘At the start of the year we weren’t drawing enough, we were winning or losing and not managing to take a point here or there, which was key.

‘You cannot underestimate a draw away from home when you are not playing well. It could prove pivotal.’

– NEIL ALLEN