WE HAD to start quickly against Portsmouth. It was our third game in a week after a European match and you want to score an early goal. Portsmouth were determined going into this game and had a number of former Spurs players, so it could have been tricky.
If you are 2-0 up it’s a comfortable lead but they scored just before half-time and in the second half we had some tired legs. We also had five or six fresh players as well, so that was an advantage for us, we dug in and defensively, the back four and the keeper all had very good games. I was pleased but it wasn’t easy.
We’ve had a problem on the left – Teemu Tainio has played there, Reto Ziegler lacked a bit of rhythm against Slavia Prague on Thursday but he’s young and we can’t blame him for that. I just thought against Portsmouth to give Danny Murphy a chance there because he’s a more experienced player and I thought he did well. It was maybe a bit of a gamble but I was delighted with him opening the scoring and that’s what you want.
Jermain Defoe scored and if the strikers are scoring goals we will get results because defensively we look okay - that’s normal because we have good players at the back. The only disappointment was that we didn’t cut out the cross for Portsmouth’s goal and that is still about the minor mistakes I’ve been talking about.
It’s always difficult after a European match, as many teams have showed. It’s something we have to cope with. Portsmouth was a worry because we didn’t do well against Everton after a midweek game and Fulham after a midweek game, so it was very important to get this result.
I felt we played better than them in the first half and perhaps they edged it in the second half. We had more chances than them, that had a great chance with the late header when Paul Robinson made a fantastic save but I thought overall we deserved it.
Martin Jol offers his final, reflective views on Sunday's 2-1 win against Portsmouth at the Lane.