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STEVENS: WE HANDLED THE PRESSURE

12 February 2017

Defender reflects on Accrington win

The phrase ‘must win game’ gets bandied around with abandon in football.

But after suffering back-to-beats against Exeter and Wycombe, Enda Stevens knew that it was vital Pompey secured victory against Accrington.

That is exactly what they did, courtesy of goals at each end of the contest from Matt Clarke and Kal Naismith.

Stevens admitted that it was not as fluid a performance as the Blues would have liked, but was content with a three-point haul.

The left-back said: “We started the match very well and got the goal from a great set-piece that was straight off the training ground.

“But then we got a bit sloppy and weren’t able to take full control of the game, so it was important that we were able to keep that clean sheet.

“Accrington made it tough for us and both sides were sloppy in possession at times, with the ball going out of play a lot.

“The important thing was that we were in the lead and just had to stay focused to make sure we got the three points.

“The gaffer wanted us to get the ball in behind them at the start and dictate the opening stages in their half.

“We were beaten in our last two matches, so there was a lot of pressure on us going into the game and ultimately we delivered.”

Stevens was full of praise for Jamal Lowe, who impressed on his first Fratton start since joining the club in January.

He said: “I thought Jamal was excellent and he was our main threat. He’s growing with every game he plays and hopefully he can keep it up.

“He’s been with us since before Christmas and we’ve seen that he’s got great technical ability, but he also works hard.”

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