Brett Pitman pinpoints unconquerable Portsmouth resilience driving promotion push

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Brett Pitman marvelled at belligerent Pompey and insisted: This team has magnificent resilience.

The promotion-chasing Blues yesterday scrapped back from trailing impressive Coventry to claim an eighth-straight victory.

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It was Pitman whose sweet 83rd-minute strike settled a hard-fought contest 2-1 in his team’s favour, despite them struggling to overcome the Sky Blues.

Kenny Jackett’s men dug in and once again dragged out a gutsy display, having fallen behind early on and been booed off by some at half-time.

Yet Tom Naylor’s 66th-minute equaliser lifted the Fratton Park mood, with Pitman’s 13th of the campaign subsequently securing another dramatic late triumph.

It moves Pompey into third spot, two points ahead of Sunderland – and two points adrift of second-place Barnsley.

Pitman said: ‘The ability to get late goals is a good trait of ours, we pride ourselves in our fitness, we keep going.

‘We have good resilience, good character in the team, and those late winners show that.

‘We’ve got good characters right throughout the squad who are prepared to dig in. When the going gets tough, we more often than not come out the other side of it.

‘Burton and Coventry were probably two of the most in-form teams in the league with not a great deal to play for, despite both having an outside chance of the play-offs.

‘That makes teams dangerous when they are under no pressure, so for us to come out with two wins over Easter was fantastic.

‘I didn’t think we were that bad in the first half if I am being honest, I thought we were close. We were on top and then they scored.

‘Not much was said at half-time, just to keep going and the game will open up, we always fancy ourselves once we get one to get the second.

‘Especially at home, when we get on top our intensity is at times too much for teams and I thought there was a spell in the second half when that was the case.

‘Once we got the equaliser our intensity seemed to rise, with the crowd. I thought, all in all, our intensity was magnificent.’

As for Pitman, that’s now six goals in eight matches since recalled to the starting line-up last month.

And his latest entry maintains Pompey aspirations of automatic promotion.

He added: ‘Sometimes you can go a few games without getting clear-cut chances, luckily that one fell to me and I scored.

‘It’s a big goal, but if I had’t scored it hopefully someone else would have. At this point of the season you just want to win the game.’