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Portsmouth manager Avram Grant lifted by FA Cup victory

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant
Grant was proud of how his players performed to fight back and beat Coventry

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant believes the 2-1 FA Cup win over Coventry shows the spirit of his squad remains intact, despite the club's off-field problems.

Pompey have yet to find out if they will receive £7m in TV money and have their transfer embargo lifted.

They equalised late in normal time at the Ricoh Arena before Aaron Mokoena's extra-time winner sent them through.

"We showed a lot of character. It is a difficult time but every win shows we don't intend to give up," said Grant.

Pompey, who are bottom of the Premier League, face having their TV money withheld to repay football creditors and are also challenging the winding up petition served on them by HM Revenue & Customs before Christmas.

"It is not a normal situation," added Grant. "I have not spoken about football very much recently.


"I don't see many clubs in this situation who could continue fighting and not give up.

"This shows a lot of character. I'm very proud of what the players are doing and I think it's unique.

"I think everybody needs to learn that even with all the problems and the difficulties in football, you need to keep fighting and keep fighting."

Grant, whose side will face Sunderland in the fourth round, feels that beating Coventry can inspire his players in their battle to stay in the top flight.

"The most important thing is the Premier League but what was also important was how we won this game because it showed that we must not give up until the last moment," he explained.

Leon Best put the Championship side ahead with a spectacular first-half strike but Coventry's Stephen Wright scored an own goal late in normal time to make it 1-1 before Mokoena struck the winner in the final seconds of extra time.

"The team always tried and I think we deserved the win," added Grant.

"Towards the end of normal time and in extra time we created a lot of chances."

Mokoena admitted the manner of his side's win was harsh on Coventry but also feels the victory can kick-start Pompey's season.

"It was very important to win this game so that we can build on it and we did so," commented Mokoena, whose header was his first goal for the club.

"We needed it so badly. It is a big win for us.

"It's always difficult to come to these places and credit to Coventry, they made it difficult for us. At the end of the day we managed to wrap it up."

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The FA Cup results

12 Jan 2010 23:59 UK

see also
Coventry 1-2 Portsmouth
12 Jan 10 |  FA Cup
Pompey 'working hard' to pay debt
15 Jan 10 |  Portsmouth
FA Cup photos
12 Jan 10 |  Football
Tuesday's FA Cup action as it happened
12 Jan 10 |  Football
Portsmouth 1-1 Coventry
02 Jan 10 |  FA Cup

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