Boss pleased with Pompey bravery

Guy Whittingham, David Connolly and Alan McLoughlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham, David Connolly and Alan McLoughlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham paid tribute to his side’s courage as Pompey battled back for a point at Torquay.

The Blues boss insisted his side had deserved a victory at Plainmoor as they claimed a 1-1 draw thanks to substitute Ryan Bird’s equaliser.

But even though his side beat Bury last weekend, Whittingham was far happier with Pompey’s performance this time around.

He believed they maintained their focus on their passing style, even as they pressed for a way back into the game.

‘Performance-wise, I thought we played a lot better with the ball than we did against Bury,’ said Whittingham.

‘If you take the first 30 seconds out of the game, I thought we defended reasonably well, too.

‘You play to the conditions a little bit but I think we were braver on the ball in this game.

‘We told them at half-time to keep playing the way they were playing and the chances would come.

‘Overall, we’re pleased with the performance.

‘We kept telling them to keep playing their football and not to launch it because the wind would have carried it through like it did to them in the first half.

‘We stayed brave and kept plugging away. We got our rewards for that.

‘It’s disappointing to only come away with a draw because we’ve played really well.

‘And I thought we dominated the possession and dominated the game.’

While it was a dreadful start for his charges, falling behind in the first 17 seconds, Whittingham was pleased with the response.

He said: ‘Apart from those first 30 to 40 seconds, we dealt with everything very well.

‘We got back in the game and I’m glad we showed that spirit to get back into it.

‘We didn’t attack that first ball and that was costly.

‘But they recovered from that setback and did well after that.’

While the game took on a different complexion in the second period, Whittingham felt his side were stopped from finding an equaliser by good defending.

He said: ‘You have to give a bit of credit to them for stopping us scoring.

‘It’s not as easy as you putting the ball in the box and one of our players getting on the end of it.

‘They made it hard for us and made us put great balls into the box.

‘They kept us at bay for a lot of the game.

‘You have to give them credit because you are not just going to break sides down easily all the time.

‘But what we did was keep trying. I was pleased with that.’

Whittingham also shrugged off suggestions his side should be beating sides like Torquay if they have hopes of mounting a promotion push.

He said: ‘Maybe people don’t realise that any team can beat any other team in this league. We have seen some of the results.

‘And that will go on throughout the season.

‘We would like to win, of course we would.

‘But the more often you go away from home and remain unbeaten, the better you are.

‘These games are never easy to win.’