Kenny Jackett praises Portsmouth players’ resolve following shootout win against Sunderland
Kenny Jackett saluted the Pompey players’ resolve as they claimed Checkatrade Trophy success on penalties against Sunderland.
The Blues lifted the cup at Wembley thanks to Oli Hawkins’ decisive spot-kick, after Craig MacGillivray’s key save to palm away Lee Cattermole’s effort.
Before that, though, the Blues endured a difficult first half that saw Aiden McGeady hand Jack Ross’ dominant side a fully-deserved half-time lead.
However, Pompey upped their game in the second half to quickly dispel any fears the Black Cats were going to canter to victory.
Nathan Thompson equalised on 82 minutes, before Jamal Lowe put the Blues in front in the first period of extra-time.
McGeady's last-gasp leveller sent the game to penalties.
But the determined Blues came through all the drama to claim a famous 5-4 penalty shootout win.
And Jackett was pleased with the character shown by his players on an intense afternoon in the capital.
‘I thought Sunderland deserved their lead at half-time, although the goal looked a bit of a soft free-kick,’ said Jackett.
'They were the better side up to 45 minutes.
'But we came back fantastically well, dominated the second half and did think for the majority of extra-time as well - and by the end we deserved to win.
'I was delighted with the players' resolve - coming back during the course of the game and five fantastic penalties and a key save from the goalkeeper that's help win us the game.’
Jackett admitted he made a few tactical changes at half-time, after Sunderland dominated the first period.
However. he stressed a change in his players’ attitude also contributed to a turnaround in the team’s fortunes.
The manager added: 'We made one or two tactical changes that we needed to make at half-time.
'Brett Pitman was coming too deep to get into the game, we didn’t have enough support for Omar Bogle and also in midfield I didn’t think it was flowing for us.
'Having said that the opposition were good and kicking towards our fans we needed to find something.
'I always feel it's a couple of tactical things and then attitude, approach and a determination to try turn it around for us.’