Win silences boo-boys

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Paul Hart insisted Pompey's crucial 1-0 success over Bolton finally laid to rest the notion his team play negative football.

The Pompey boss came under fire during the week for the defensive-minded style of play that brought a succession of boos from the home crowd after last weekend's 2-2 draw with West Brom.

But although Hart stuck to his guns over the one-man strikeforce, the approach was far more positive from his troops as they pressed forward and took the game to Bolton.

The result: three vital points in their battle to stay in the Premier League.

Hart said: 'I think it was a massive result for all concerned. I think it just gives a little bit of a proof to the players that they have been going around doing the right things.

'It's always important to win and we have been very close to winning most of the matches we've played.

'We're very competitive, very hard to beat and I think you saw, especially in the first half, we are a very attack-minded team.

'It's not about systems, managers or coaches, it's about players.

'And players make systems work and I think everybody put their shift in.

'We've found a way of playing that makes us hard to beat but I don't think we've been short of creating chances in any game I've been in charge of.'

With Pompey bossing the first half, Hart admitted the half-time interval was a dangerous period for his team.

Hart said: 'In the first half, I thought we were absolutely fantastic and could have been two or three up.

'We hit the woodwork again but half-time was dangerous for us, we didn't want it to come around and we had to make sure we remained patient.

'After that, we weren't quite as fluid as we were in the first half but I think we got our rewards.'

Although Kanu's winner is unlikely to feature in any goal-of-the-season round-up, Hart paid tribute to the Nigerian striker's impact after coming off the bench.

Hart said: 'I did say it would probably go in off somebody's knee or another part of somebody's anatomy and it did.

'Thankfully the King was on and that was the second time he was on and caused trouble.

'I just watched it nestle in the back of the net and I was extremely relieved.

'But the players deserved that result.'

The win gives Pompey a six-point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone, but Hart admitted there is still work to be done.

He said: 'The feeling is not one of relief but is one of we are a step closer but still a job to do so my focus remains.'