Pompey chief doesn't expect team selection question

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Football News

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant is confident of avoiding a call from the Premier League asking him to explain his team selection in last night's goalless draw at Wigan.

Grant made eight changes from the side which beat Tottenham in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final, including giving debuts to 20-year-olds Joel Ward and Matt Ritchie.

Portsmouth's bench was even weaker with just four substitutes named, among those were teenagers Lenny Sowah and Marlon Pack and a half-fit Hassan Yebda.

Having already fallen foul of Premier League rules earlier this season when the club went into administration, incurring a nine-point deduction, Grant does not want to hear from the authorities again. "The Premier League need not to say nothing about Portsmouth," he said.

"They need to give us an award because we are playing as we play with a lot of injuries - it is not ideal for us.

"But what can I do? We have many players who were injured so we used some players from the academy and I was very pleased with them.

"We needed to do it because we have a very small squad. Hassan Yebda was on the bench but even he was not fit and therefore he didn't play.

"We didn't even have a reserve goalkeeper on the bench."

Grant was fortunate goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown not only avoided injury but was also Portsmouth's best player, being forced to make many more saves than Wigan counterpart Chris Kirkland.

However, only one - tipping a late James McCarthy shot around his post - forced him to produce his best.

"Ashdown did very well. In the last three games we've had clean sheets and he has played in two of them," added Grant.

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