Life's a beach for Pompey

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Harry Redknapp's reward for his Portsmouth team after their dramatic UEFA Cup triumph over Guimaraes was to let them have a few extra hours in Portugal - training on the beach.

The snag for the Pompey boys was that they also had to take a dip in the sea to get rid of the acid in their bodies in time for Sunday's Barclays Premier League match against Stoke.

Redknapp said: "We have put our flight back a few hours so that the players can get all this out of their system. They need to get rid of the lactic acid in time for the weekend, because now games will come thick and fast."

Pompey guaranteed themselves four more in Europe by going through the first round 4-2 on aggregate after extra-time in the second leg, Peter Crouch's goals doing the trick after they had trailed 2-0 on the night at 90 minutes.

Redknapp said: "It was a topsy-turvy game, and Vitoria (Guimaraes) were fantastic in the first half with their movement and passing.

"We played with wing-backs again after the good result it got us at Everton, but we didn't get the ball wide enough to make use of it until the second half.

"Technically Vitoria are a brilliant side, and we couldn't cope with them before half-time. But we changed it a bit in the second half - and after that, there was always going to be only one winner.

"You could say we made hard work of it, but we got there in the end - and Peter Crouch took his goals very well.

"The league is still our priority. But it's good to have got through to the group stage, and we'll take it match by match from now on."

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European News
Stoke City
Peter Crouch

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