Assistant manager pleased after Exeter win
It is Pompey’s passing game that normally receives the plaudits.
But Leam Richardson was equally impressed with their defensive steel in a 1-0 victory over Exeter at St James Park.
With time running out, it appeared that the Blues would be departing Devon with just a single point.
That became all three, however, when Gary Roberts fired home a penalty after Kal Naismith had been brought down in the box.
Exeter had not created an abundance of opportunities at the other end, but then threw the kitchen sink at their visitors in a desperate search for an equaliser.
Pompey held firm, though, and Richardson was delighted with how much effort went in to keeping a clean sheet.
“Last season we perhaps didn’t have luck on our side and so hopefully the tide has turned this time around,” said the Blues’ assistant manager.
“We deserved three points because of the way we passed the ball and also the way we defended. Players were throwing their bodies on the line.
“You could see the desire that we have to win games and how much heart there is in this squad.
“We work a lot on the defensive side of things and I read somewhere that we’ve faced the fewest shots in the league.
“It’s great to have a keeper with so much experience and you could hear how he managed the game.
“From my own experience of playing, I know that when you’ve got a good one behind you, it provides that energy you need.”
Richardson had to communicate with Paul Cook by phone, as Pompey’s manager was serving a touchline ban.
He said: “It was strange, but he was constantly in my earpiece telling me how he saw the game from the stands and had a great impact.
Watch Richardson’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for full post-Exeter coverage.