JOL ON POMPEY POINT
Martin Jol said the performance of the team warranted more than a point from the New Year's Day clash with Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Martin Jol said the performance of the team warranted more than a point from the New Year's Day clash with Portsmouth at Fratton Park.Steed Malbranque got us back on level terms shortly after half-time to cancel out Benjani's deflected opener for Pompey. The team did not deserve to be down at the break and they came out strongly after the interval and responded in a manner that won the approval of the manager.
"If you are down 1-0 you always think it could be one of those days, but the only thing we lacked was a real aggression," reasoned Martin. "It is a bit of a problem, we've got such talented players, but sometimes you need to get stuck in a bit more and that is something we've got to learn.
"In the second half we did that, we showed far more of the grit that you need in the Premiership. We had five or six chances and they probably had one. Before they scored the goal they had no chances and the goal was a deflection.
"I want players who battle for the Club, the team, the fans and themselves - and in the second half we did that. We showed everybody what we can do against a team who are very strong at home."
Martin praised the resolve of Hossam Ghaly, who carried on after sustaining a kick in the face from Noe Pamarot in the opening minutes. The midfielder will clearly be paying a visit to the dentist this week.
"He lost four teeth and suffered a split lip which was nasty for him. He played on and showed great character because he is a very good lad," added Martin, who made a change at half-time which paid dividends by bringing on Danny Murphy and switching Malbranque to the right flank. The pair combined to record our equaliser.
"It was good, Danny also came on against Liverpool and did well. He is a very good player who kept a cool head in the box to provide an excellent cross. Steed Malbranque also stayed cool to head his second goal for us."