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A Game Of Two Halves

8 October 2013

Boss pleased with second half display at Oxford

It was the proverbial game of two halves at the Kassam Stadium.

Pompey were outplayed in the first act of their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Oxford.

But they were much improved after the interval, particularly when Patrick Agyemang was introduced on the hour mark.

The striker opened the scoring with a superb strike before John Marquis headed home a second.

James Constable’s late effort was nothing more than a consolation for the hosts as Pompey booked their place in the area quarter-finals.

And Guy Whittingham was pleased that his side were able to record back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

The Blues boss said: “After such an important win at the weekend it was important for us to try to build some momentum.

“Oxford worked harder in the first half and we weren’t putting them under any pressure. We couldn’t get close to them.

“We were fortunate to come in at 0-0 at the break – we weren’t at it at all. We had to improve and we did.

“I just told the players to remember what we did on Saturday when we worked really hard.

“No-one takes any credit from the first half performance, but they took notice of what was said at half-time and performed a lot better.”

Whittingham reserved special praise for his goalscorers and was particularly impressed with Agyemang’s fine finish with the outside of his boot.

He said: “It was a fantastic goal. Pat’s got some ability and to do that 10 minutes after coming on is great.

“He’s been very much the fulcrum for us so far this season and we ask a lot of him. Once again he showed us what he can do.

“I’m pleased for John. He runs around a lot and works really hard. He’s got an egg on his head from a collision earlier in the game and he put his goal away well.”

Whittingham will have to assess the fitness of Marcos Painter and Ricky Holmes ahead of Saturday’s trip to Plymouth after the pair both limped off.

He said: “Marcos took a kick on his calf and Ricky had a kick on his knee, so it was best for them to come off.”

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