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League One

Whittingham takes the positives

16 December 2012

Portsmouth caretaker boss Guy Whittingham was encouraged by his side's first clean sheet in two months after they were held 0-0 by Preston at Fratton Park.

The south coast side have now gone 10 matches in all competitions without a victory. They blew a golden opportunity to snatch the three points when striker Izale McLeod crashed a penalty against the crossbar after 14 minutes.

Pompey have now drawn three matches on the bounce after a run of seven defeats and Whittingham was pleased with Blues' first shut-out since they defeated Crewe 2-0 on October 13.

He said: "The most pleasing thing from the performance is that we haven't conceded. We needed to make sure we tightened up at Fratton Park because we've been conceding too many goals here and been far too open. That's the reason we've lost games, despite scoring goals."

Whittingham felt Pompey applied enough pressure to collect the win, but said: "When you're down the bottom, every point is a good point. I think we had enough chances, enough pressure and I think the way we played was pretty positive. All that was missing was a goal."

Portsmouth will remain in administration until at least January 15 after the court case to determine the potential sale of Fratton Park to the Pompey Supporters Trust was adjourned on Friday.

This could leave Whittingham battling to keep his makeshift squad of loanees and short-term signings together. But asked if he feared a flood of departures, he added: "It's not a major concern. It's in the background. The more immediate concern for us on the pitch is getting points.

"A lot will depend on results. If you're in a football team that's winning games and doing well, then you want to be part of that."

Preston manager Graham Westley was content with a point and praised his side's organisational efforts in the absence of long-term defensive absentees Keith Keane and Scott Laird. He said: "We made a number of changes to the side and it was always going to be difficult for us to show genuine organisation.

"On the whole, the players worked hard at their organisation over the 90 minutes, they worked hard to stay solid and we came away with the clean sheet, largely due to the attitude and work rate of the team."


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