Wednesday 22 February 2017

Grant hails team spirit

Mike McGrath

Published 07/03/2010 | 05:00

PORTSMOUTH 2

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BIRMINGHAM CITY 0

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant saluted the spirit of the club's players and supporters after booking a place in the FA Cup semi-final at Fratton Park yesterday.

Pompey have had four owners this season, Revenue and Customs have lodged a winding-up petition against them and their staff have not been paid on time -- but, remarkably, they are heading to Wembley after Frederic Piquionne's goals helped defeat Birmingham 2-0.

"Football is more than football. All these people are so happy," said Grant, following his lap of honour after the final whistle. "You can break many things but you cannot break our spirit. The spirit of the players and fans was high.

"I'm very proud, when you see players of the age of Hermann Hreidarsson and David James giving their heart for the team. It's important for the spirit of football."

Liam Ridgewell should have been awarded a goal when his header crossed the line, but the assistant referee failed to spot it. Birmingham boss Alex McLeish felt his side would have been in the driving seat for a replay if the goal had stood. "We should have had a lifeline with a perfectly legitimate goal," he said. "But unfortunately it wasn't to be."

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