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Portsmouth manager Paul Hart remains confident his side will escape relegation despite their woeful start to the season.

Pompey were pointless after their opening seven Barclays Premier League matches and after a 1-0 defeat at Stoke yesterday have now lost 10 times in 13 games. But with more than a third of the season gone the league's bottom side are still only four points from moving out of the relegation zone.

"We pick the bones out of it, get on again and try to get it right," said the Pompey boss after Ricardo Fuller's 74th-minute goal settled matters at the Britannia Stadium, where Kevin-Prince Boateng missed an eighth-minute penalty.

"I think we are getting there and I think we will find the answer. We didn't go to Stoke to sit back and try to soak it up, we went to attack and try to get a result and we have been doing that all over the place.

"We could have done with three points but we still believe we are going to get out of this."

Hart believes a closer inspection of their results - they have lost seven games by just a single goal - offers hope for the remaining six months of the season.

"We are not leaking goals. I believe we will get out of this and goal difference will be massive in the final reckoning," he added.

"No-one has really got away yet. There is a chance people will come back towards us as well and I think there will be seven to eight teams in the mix. We have just got to retain the confidence to turn these results into wins."

Defender Hermann Hreidarsson echoed his manager's comments, although he knows they face a tough run of games which includes Manchester United, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal before the end of the year.

"It's been the story of the season - playing the football, creating the chances, being the better side but not picking up the points," said Hreidarsson. "We have to turn Fratton Park into a fortress - starting on Saturday against Manchester United. We'll have a go at them."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Stoke City
Hermann Hreidarsson
Kevin-Prince Boateng
Premier League
Manchester United
Aston Villa
Ricardo Fuller
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