portsmouth 3-1 wolves

Grant pays on-pitch tribute to Pompey fans

May 1, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Avram Grant hailed Portsmouth's supporters in an on-pitch tribute after beating Wolves 3-1 in the club's final home game of the season.

• Portsmouth 3-1 Wolves: Rare cheer for Pompey

Avram Grant
PA PhotosAvram Grant rallies the fans for the FA Cup final

Portsmouth, relegated last month, are in administration and have debts of around £120 million, but they have managed to reach the FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 15 despite losing a vast number of players to the cash crisis.

Fans waved banners in support of Grant for his work at Fratton Park and he led the players and staff out onto the pitch to show their appreciation for the supporters.

"If anyone in the world wants a lesson about passion and commitment then Fratton Park is the place," he said. "They can take points from us, put an embargo on us, but they cannot destroy our spirit - never!

"On May 15, each one of us - players, staff and fans - can be very proud to come to Wembley with a sign: 'We did it, we did it'."

Grant maintained off-field matters must be resolved before he will be able to decide whether to remain in charge next season. "I love this club, and it will always stay in my heart, but we need to know first what the future of the club will be. My own future is not so important,'' he said.

"But nobody knows, the administrator is trying to do his job and we will have to wait and see if we can be in a position to build the club again from the beginning. I have had offers, but did not sign for anybody. I am waiting first to see what happens with this club. This club needs a new direction and stability. Hopefully in two weeks, we will know what is going to happen.''

Grant paid tribute to his players. "It was very important in our last game to show what we have all season - that if it was only football, there would be no doubt we could stay in the league,'' he said. "We did not get an equal chance, but have showed the true spirit of football.''

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy accepted his side had not produced the level of performance of recent weeks, which was understandable given they had already secured their top-flight status. "It was a performance below what we have been producing,'' he said.

"While I did not want to come here and lose, I think I can forgive the players a bit of a dip in performance as they have been as tight as piano wire for 36 games, being really solid and committed. You only have to be a couple of per cent down on the things you do, and that is what we were today.

"Saying that, we could have won 7-5, because we missed some outrageous chances, but that has been our downfall all season, not scoring enough goals. The lads, though, have been terrific and while we have slipped up here, maybe we can now get back on form next week, because we want to finish on a high at home against Sunderland.''