Date: 19th September 2008 at 8:21am
Written by:

Harry Redknapp is trying to keep things in check and guard against complacency as he says the uefa cup tie with Vitoria is far from over, despite a fantastic 2-0 win at Fratton last night.

He knows that the Portuguese side will still be a threat in the 2nd leg, but also paid tribute to the fans on a very special night: ‘this tie is not all over yet. I don’t know if that is enough.

‘We scored two good goals and played well against a very good technical side who showed in stretches what they can do. It will not be easy out there.

‘Their goalkeeper made some fantastic saves including the penalty and we could have had four or five. The save from Traore in the second half was amazing.

‘But we saw enough of them to believe they could be really dangerous at home. They changed their system in the second half, pushing an extra man into midfield from the back and we couldn’t get right on top of them.

‘But luckily Defoe is in good form, really sharp, and Diarra is just an amazing player – one of the best midfielders anywhere. He’s a fantastic talent.

‘I couldn’t see from the touchline whether their penalty should have been given but I’m told the save from Jermain was a good one.

‘It was a great night for supporters and they have deserved it. They have had to endure the bad times for years, watching the team struggle for results in the fourth division not that many years ago.

‘Now they are seeing top Premier League and European football after such a barren spell.’

I am not taking anything for granted, but the 2-0 lead will make what is going to be a special trip to Portugal – via Spain – for me and thousands of other Pompey fans all the more enjoyable.

Taking a clean sheet into the 2nd leg was essential, the 2-0 lead leaves us in a very strong position and a position – although not one I am taking for granted as said – that I really do think will be enough to see us through.

Vitoria will have to attack us, and when they attacked they looked good last night, but defensively they looked more than breachable. The more they push on the more we can hit them on the break, so with the pace of Nadir Belhadj and Armand Traore down the left hand side in particular we will cause problems and could break – an away goal, which is something I am convinced we will get, will finish the job.

We are in for a cracking 2nd leg, Pompey’s European tour really will begin – and we will take a hell of a lot of fans over to Guimaraes!

What a fantastic night it was though eh guys? The atmosphere was brilliant, the football again fantastic at times – just like the old days at Fratton… apart from the new addition of European football for the first time ever of course! A classic night of European football at Fratton – how great does that sound… and long may it continue…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

Join the Vital Pompey Debate