Salford City manager's damning verdict of Portsmouth after Wembley victory

Salford City boss Richie Wellens admitted he didn’t feel his men were threatened by Pompey as they won the Papa John’s Trophy.

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th March 2021, 12:10 pm

The side who were in the ninth tier of the game when the Blues won the FA Cup in 2008, picked up their first league trophy yesterday with a penalty shootout victory after it finished 0-0 at Wembley after extra-time.

Salford were good value for their win after putting Kenny Jackett’s side under the cosh in the first half, and could have been out of sight if it wasn’t for Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray.

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Wellens felt the win was well deserved and wants to see the Ammies use the game to build confidence in their bid for League Two promotion.

He told the Manchester Evening News: ‘I thought it was a really good game of football, but I think we deserved the win. I didn’t feel like they were much of a threat to be honest.

‘I spoke before about this game being a hindrance; it’s not a hindrance at all, it’s the timing of the game, but actually it might have been a godsend. We’re hoping to use this as a springboard now.

‘I’m a big believer of confidence and momentum in football. You can be the best player in the world but if you haven’t got confidence, you’re a beaten man so the players now should take a lot of confidence and we can try and use that momentum.

Salford City celebrate their win yesterday

‘I’ve seen so many players come here, and I’ve been involved in squads, that turn up and just enjoy the day and the game’s passed them by before they know it, but I don’t think anybody let the game pass them by today.

‘We were very focused and on the front foot for the majority of the game and we deserved the win. I want them to enjoy it now because you don’t win trophies and play at Wembley very often in your career.

‘You have to enjoy it, but the focus has to remain. Enjoy tonight, enjoy the bus journey home, they can play their music as loud as they want and they can talk about what they’ve just experienced, but there has to be a focus come Monday morning ready for Colchester on Tuesday.

‘We cannot ease off from that performance today.’

With Wellens coming into the Salford job last November, he wasn’t prepared to take the credit for his team winning the competition which has taken place a year later than anticipated because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added: ‘I’m not comfortable with saying I’ve delivered it.

‘You have to give Graham Alexander and all the players who contributed to it last season credit because without them we wouldn’t be here, so part of the success has to go to Graham and his players.’

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