Avram Grant's classy message to Portsmouth ahead of Papa John's Trophy final

Avram Granted reflected on Pompey's famous FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham in 2010 and declared: nobody could break the club's spirit.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 10:50 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:04 am

The Blues head back to Wembley for the seventh time in 13 years when they take on Salford City in the Papa John's Trophy final tomorrow.

Of those trips to the national stadium, the defeat of Spurs is most fondly remembered by large sections of the Fratton faithful – even ranking ahead of the FA Cup final win over Cardiff two years earlier – given the circumstances.

Pompey had been relegated from the Premier League before the last-four encounter and were in deep financial crisis having entered administration.

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What's more, they were facing a Tottenham side managed by Harry Redknapp – who had controversially left Fratton Park for White Hart Lane the previous season.

Redknapp also poached Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar from the south coast to join him in London.

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However, Pompey pulled off an against-all-odds win over Spurs. Extra-time goals from Freddie Piquionne and Kevin-Prince Boateng earned the Blues a 2-0 success.

Avram Grant celebrates Pompey's victory over Tottenham in the 2010 FA Cup semi-fina. Picture: Allan Hutchings

Grant masterminded the victory, having succeeded Paul Hart as boss earlier in the campaign.

And the former Chelsea and West Ham chief called his time at PO4 ‘one of the happiest' of his career despite the club being in dire straits.

Responding to a post on Pompey's Instagram account, Grant said: ‘It was an honour for me and a pleasure to show the world that even in times of great adversity nobody can break the spirit of Pompey.

‘I remember this so clearly. One of my happiest times in football. A great day, a great season and a great club.’

Pompey’s Papa John’s Trophy final against Salford will finally take place almost a year after it was originally planned.

The 2019-20 Wembley showpiece was postponed amid the coronavirus crisis.

It means the encounter will be held behind closed doors, despite more than 50,000 Blues fans snapping up tickets.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

On Saturday, March 13 Pompey will finally get their day at Wembley.

To celebrate the Blues’ place in the rearranged 2020 EFL Trophy Final, The News has launched an offer that gets you 25% off all our Sports subscriptions.

You can choose your perfect Sports subscription here and use the discount code ROADTOWEMBLEY25 to get the latest news from Fratton Park for less. Offer runs until midnight on March 15.