Grant admits Pompey fans right to show anger

PORTSMOUTH: Manager Avram Grant admits he can understand why Portsmouth’s fans protested against the board after Coventry held the Premier League strugglers to a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup third round.

Grant’s side needed an equaliser from Kevin-Prince Boateng to scrape a replay after David Bell had put their Championship opponents ahead at Fratton Park on Saturday.

With Portsmouth already bottom of the league, facing a winding-up petition in the High Court and unable to pay the players on time for the third time this season, it was little surprise to Grant that the Pompey faithful finally snapped after another lacklustre display.

Hundreds of fans gathered outside the directors’ entrance to register their unhappiness with Saudi owner Ali Al-Faraj and his directors and chanted ‘sack the board’, ‘where’s the money gone?’ and ‘where’s the owner of our club?’

“I understand (why they are frustrated) but you must understand that no one at the club is happy with the situation,” Grant said.
“My job and the players’ job is to do things on the pitch.

“The situation is not easy but we can do our best for the team on the pitch and that’s what I will do.

“I’m very impressed with the supporters. They were behind us for the whole game and it’s not an easy time for us generally or in this game. I respect them.”

Grant has spent more time discussing the club’s financial plight than his players’ efforts on the pitch since taking over as manager from Paul Hart in November.

The former Chelsea boss added: “To be honest, I feel as if I’m not answering as a football manager.

“Eighty per cent of the questions I have been asked since I came here haven’t been about the football. I like to talk about things on the football side, but what can I do?

“This is the situation and if I have to answer these questions, I will answer these questions. But there are enough problems on the pitch we need to take care of.”

Meanwhile, Coventry boss Chris Coleman was pleased with the way his side matched Premier League opposition.

“It will be a better result for us than Portsmouth with their current situation,” Coleman said.

“I think, on the balance of play, it was a fair result. I thought we did well and we coped well when we had to.” — AFP

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