Time ripe to play up Pompey, declares Grant

AVRAM GRANT has challenged his Portsmouth players to believe in themselves and give everything for the cause as the Barclays Premier League’s bottom club look to pull of a shock at title-chasing Manchester United today.

Pompey remain adrift at the bottom of the table following a 1-0 defeat at Fulham on Wednesday night.

However, a battling display deserved a better result, with Grant’s team more cohesive following the return of African Nations Cup trio Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda and Aruna Dindane.

With better finishing, Pompey would have had the match won before a late lapse in concentration let Fulham snatch a win.

The off-field saga at Fratton Park continues, as Hong Kong-based businessman Balram Chainrai took control in a fourth change of ownership on Thursday, before he then declared “zero interest” in completing a full-blown buy-out.

Pompey also face a winding-up order from HMRC over a £7.5 million (€8.5m) VAT bill, for which a High Court hearing is due next Wednesday.

However the Pompey manager maintains his squad deserve great credit for producing consistently decent performances on the pitch, if not always getting their just rewards.

“We have shown over the past couple of months that when people thought we were down, we recovered and gave everything,” said Grant.

“I have no doubt the players will give everything again against Manchester United.

“When you see the fact they keep coming onto the pitch, again and again, giving everything that is good.”

Grant declared: “I always believe – and I do not want to see anyone in my team who does not believe. This is football – anything can happen.

“I saw United against Arsenal, okay they played a bit quick for us but you always have to face up to the challenge in a positive way.”


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