'Their keeper kept them in it' - Cheltenham boss on his side deserving first-ever Portsmouth win

Michael Duff was adamant Cheltenham were good value for their first-ever win over Pompey.

By Jordan Cross
Sunday, 10th April 2022, 10:08 am

And the Robins boss felt without the heroics of Gavin Bazunu the margin of victory for his side at Whaddon Road would’ve been even greater.

Bazunu was Pompey’s man of the match on a day where few outfield players warranted positive recognition.

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The Republic of Ireland international produced a double first-half stop and full-length save to deny the impressive Leicester loanee Callum Wright.

When asked if his side were deserved winners, Duff told Gloucestershire Live: ‘I thought so.

‘Their goalkeeper kept them in the game. It was quite a tight first half, but we had the better chances.

‘I don’t know how the goalmouth scramble has not gone in. Kion (Etete) should score just on half-time, with a free header that he is disappointed with.

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff.

‘In the second half, we allowed them to have the ball in certain areas and we made blocks.

‘They are a good team, but I thought the goalkeeper was excellent, for them.’

Duff believes that success even supersedes winning the fourth tier title last season.

He added: ‘It’s probably a better achievement, but you should never turn down winning trophies and it’s hard to win championships because you don’t get many of them in your lifetime. ‘Nobody is going to remember this in a few years, really, with the players.

‘But we have proved in the last two or three weeks, when some people said the season was done after the Wimbledon game, but the effort we put in at Sheffield Wednesday, then being 4-2 down in the 91st minute last week, that performance today – we don’t have that group.

‘We have bad games, but the way they work during the week, they don’t really have to get themselves up for games.

‘We mentioned to them, we played Stevenage away this time last year and with the greatest respect to Stevenage, they would all have ripped your right arm off to play Portsmouth at home.

‘Why would you turn down that opportunity or think you won’t try as hard? We looked a lot better mentally today and a lot more focused at set plays and that sort of thing. It’s a brilliant achievement for everyone at the football club.

‘A lot of hard work goes in and it’s not just the 90 minutes that goes in. It’s pleasing.’