High spirits for Bowyer's Seasiders
Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer was left delighted with his side's organisation and hard work as they overcame a classy Portsmouth outfit with a battling display.
Pool secured an impressive 3-1 win against Paul Cook’s men, who came into the game on the back of a 5-1 win against Barnet which left them second in the table.
But Blackpool’s constant pressing and harrying of Pompey’s players provided a constant headache for the visitors.
That was something Gary Bowyer paid tribute to after the final whistle.
“Our organisation, togetherness and spirit was unbelievable, and it had to be because they’re a very good side,” he said. “The spirit shone through.”
Pompey enjoyed a dominant start to the game and were clearly brimming with confidence, but Pool managed to keep them at bay before taking an early lead with Kelvin Mellor’s header.
However, Pompey got back on level terms through a stunning overhead kick from youngster Conor Chaplin.
Bowyer added: “Portsmouth came out flying and we knew they would. We withstood it and grew into the game slowly. The early goal settled us down and gave us some more belief.
“The way in which we reacted to conceding a wonder goal, which was a hell of a finish, was fantastic.”
Both sides seemed content to go into half-time level but Pool came out the fresher and soon retook their lead, which again came through constant pressing high up the field.
Bowyer added: “We needed half-time to put one or two things straight, but we came out and pressed harder in the middle of the pitch, which allowed us to get that second goal.
“We asked them to play a bit higher and set traps in the middle of the park, and it paid off.
“We had to defend from the front and that’s what we did. The front two had to work hard and I was really impressed with them.”
The Tangerines held firm in the final moments of the game following strikes from Brad Potts and Kyle Vassell.
Bowyer men have climbed to 13th and the manager says they should now be full of confidence for Saturday’s long trip to Crawley.
He said: “This win should give us a lot of confidence. Portsmouth are the best team we have faced this season and they are going to be very hard to stop.
“We cannot rest on our laurels and we have to get better, starting with Crawley.”
“Portsmouth are a great example of what you can achieve when the manager is given time to build and recruit.
“We’re making slow progress. We pressed together at the right times and in the right areas.”