Portsmouth skipper Clark Robertson: I've never been in such a small squad - but it's our biggest strength

Clark Robertson is convinced Pompey’s most alarming weakness is proving their biggest strength.

The Blues headed into Saturday’s encounter with Accrington possessing just 14 senior players.

A small squad has been whittled down by injury and suspension in recent weeks, with three players ruled out for the season.

Nonetheless, Danny Cowley’s men beat Stanley 4-0, making it 16 points from a possible 18 since last month’s controversial defeat at Oxford United.

And skipper Robertson believes the squad size has been pivotal in the impressive run.

He told The News: ‘I’ve probably not played in a squad as small as this before in my career, but it is definitely helping us.

‘Everyone is pulling in the right direction, it's the spirit, the togetherness, the fans could see that on Saturday.

‘Having been reduced to 10 men early in the game, we could have gone under, but you could see the fighting spirit, everyone working for each other.

Pompey celebrate Sean Raggett's goal - and their second - in Saturday's 4-0 win over Accrington. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

‘The manager keeps saying that everyone’s going to get a game because we only have 16 fit outfield players.

‘It’s Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, so everyone will play a part in matches at some point, it keeps all the players involved, nobody is missing out on squads or not playing a part. I think everyone feels valued.

‘A small squad really does help us, we just need to continue working hard and keep this winning run going.

‘We’ve had a lot of bad luck through injuries, a lot of stuff going against us in recent weeks and months, that’s why the manager is rotating the squad, to try to avoid more injuries.

‘It keeps everyone fresh because the amount of games is going to be tough until the end of the season.

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‘Rotation is the best way, it keeps everyone fresh, keeps everyone on their toes, everyone knows they’re going to play between now and the end of the season.

‘That’s good because it keeps everyone involved and valued. The togetherness and spirit we have now is unbelievable.’

On Saturday, Pompey were leading 1-0 through George Hirst’s opener when Marcus Harness was sent off in the 21st minute.

However, Sean Raggett, Hirst’s second and Ryan Tunnicliffe secured a remarkable 4-0 scoreline, despite the numerical disadvantage.

Robertson added: ‘When you go down to 10 men you have to defend – and we did that for the majority of the game.

‘It’s incredibly difficult to sustain that for the 69 minutes, yet we restricted them to just crosses into the box and defended it well, hitting them on the counter twice and scoring from two set-pieces.

‘It’s about defending well, while you have to be good on the ball when you get it. If you don’t it’s just going to be waves of attacks.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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