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Portsmouth resilience to claim point cheers Grant

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant was pleased with his side's resilience after they recovered from going a goal down for the fourth time in as many games.

The Premier League basement boys, whose transfer embargo was yesterday lifted by the Premier League, held relegation rivals West Ham to a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park last night.

Substitute Danny Webber struck an equaliser after 75 minutes to cancel out Matthew Upson's opener for the Hammers seven minutes after the break.

This was Pompey's first league fixture of the year, but they have also come from behind to draw with and then defeat Coventry, and beat Sunderland in the FA Cup since the turn of the year.

Grant was slightly disappointed not to pick up three points, which would have brought his side closer to safety.

But he was impressed with Pompey's fight after the Hammers took charge and hopes to see more of it throughout their battle for top-flight survival.

The former Chelsea boss said: "I knew it wouldn't be easy to break us, even with all the difficulties and problems we've had.

"We've had just 14 players available in the last month, but we came from 1-0 down again. The spirit was good.


"We scored a late goal and we could have scored more. We wanted three points, but the way we got this point was good.

"You need a lot of character in football because sometimes the situation is not what we would have asked it to be.

"This is the fourth time we've been behind in the last month, but I hope we will score the first goal next time."

He added: "Their attitude was brilliant and I said after the games on Saturday and Tuesday that I am very proud of them.

"When you're the top team and everything is going well, it's much easier. But doing what they did against West Ham was more difficult for everybody."

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola is hopeful of entering the transfer market in the final few days of January, but was impressed by the quality of the performance of his current players at Fratton Park.

He said: "I can only praise these players because the way they play and their attitude is unbelievable.

"They gave everything for the team and that is important.

"Maybe we will have more quality in the future and that will benefit everybody.

"But whoever comes in has to have the same attitude these boys have because that's the key to success," added Zola.