Football

Grant: Nobody can break Pompey's spirit

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Portsmouth boss Avram Grant saluted the spirit of the club's players and supporters after booking a place in the FA Cup semi-finals on an emotionally charged afternoon at Fratton Park.

Pompey have had four owners this season, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs have lodged a winding-up petition against them and their staff have not been paid on time - but remarkably they are heading to Wembley after Frederic Piquionne's goals helped defeat Birmingham 2-0.

Grant, following his lap of honour after the final whistle, said: "Football is more than football. All these people are so happy. You can break many things but you cannot break our spirit. The spirit of the players and fans was high. Other people maybe thought we would break but nobody can break our spirit."

He added: "I'm very proud, when you see players of the age of Hermann Hreidarsson and David James giving their heart for the team. It's important for the spirit of football."

Grant insisted taking the Barclays Premier League's bottom club to Wembley was as satisfying as reaching the Champions League final with Chelsea.

"There are some moments in your life you always remember and this is one of them," he said. "I was in the Champions League final and was happy, this is the same."

Victory earns Pompey £600,000 in prize money and broadcasting fees, but Grant added: "This is the last thing I care about now. We don't know what will happen in the next hour or day.

"One thing we can do is keep the spirit of the team, try to play good football in the right style with the right tactics and tell everyone we will respect any rule.

"I always say to respect rules but rules also need to be logical. This club deserves more than anyone to be at Wembley because the players and fans are victims of things done by others. I will say it again and again until someone listens."

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Topics:
Portsmouth
European News
David James
Frederic Piquionne
Football
Hermann Hreidarsson
Chelsea
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Birmingham
FA Cup

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