Date:Sunday March 7 2010
Avram Grant, who is 'though' to have dropped a hint that he could stay beyond this season before the game, told The Pompey Site that the win over Birmingham will stay with him forever.
He feels that the win, and with it a place in the last 4 of the FA cup - and of course another day out at Wembley - is something that everyone deserves and again made him immensely proud: 'this club deserves more than any other to be at Wembley.
'Some moments in your life you will always remember. I think this is one of the moments.
'Football is more than football - you see all these supporters and they are so happy.
As coaches and players we have a big opportunity to make them happy.
'I came into football because of the passion of the game, because of the emotion. When I see so many people happy with so many emotions after the game, it makes me so proud and happy.'
As we all know the 'off-the-field' issues continue to rumble on but one thing that he says CANNOT be broken is our 'spirit', as was shown again: 'you can break many things but you can't break our spirit. We will fight to the end. On top of that we're playing good football.
'I'm very proud. Look at players like Hermann Hreidarsson, who is 35 years old, and David James, who is 39, and how hard they work for the team and how much they wanted it.
'There are a lot of things going on off the pitch but we went out there and won the game - and that makes me feel very proud too.'
I think that it is fair to say that the 1st half was not a classic by any means but as Grant himself says I think it was more about containment at 1st, which we did well, before going for the jugular in the 2nd: 'we knew we were playing against a good team in eighth place in the Premier League and that it wouldn`t be easy.
'But we tried to make it difficult for them. We were much better in the second half and deserved to win.
'We changed some tactics in the second half that made it easier to control the game and be dangerous.'
Of course this game was not without some 'controversy' as Birmingham clearly has a legal goal ruled out after it has crossed the line.
Even so Grant, and once again can you really argue, feels that we deserved this bit of luck as we have not really had much this season have we: 'this season we've had more than 10 very important decisions against us that have cost us more than 10 points. So one time it has gone for us.'
As for Jamie O'Hara he, like many I guess, finds it 'crazy' that our side in our position in the league and the state of things off-the-field has made it to the semi final.
Although now that we have, if we give a performance like we did in the 2nd half against Birmingham, he feels there is no reason we cannot go all the way: 'if we play like we did in the second half against Birmingham then there's no reason why we can't go all the way.
'It was a fantastic atmosphere. The place was rocking with a sell-out crowd and I think in the second half we showed that we deserved to get to Wembley.
'We looked a little bit nervous before the break. It was a big game and everyone knew that. We just had to calm down, go out there and show a bit of confidence. Once we got the first goal I think you could see the confidence running through the team.
'It's nice for everyone to be able to take a bit of happiness from the season.'
One game at a time eh, a return to Wembley again is a good start!
Another thing we need to do is continue to build momentum - wins breed confidence and this is now back-to-back victories for us, bring on the Brummies again on Tuesday I say...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Sunday March 7 2010
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