Grant vows to keep on fighting
Avram Grant has hailed the performances of Portsmouth in the face
of adversity and vowed to continue fighting until the end of the
Pompey were all but relegated following the decision by the Premier League to dock them nine points after finally going into administration. However, despite all of the off-field problems, Grant and his squad have continued to go about their business in a professional manner.
The trip to White Hart Lane on Saturday was a case in point. Pompey started brightly and could have taken the lead when Anthony Vanden Borre was put clean though, only for Heurelho Gomes to make a smart save.
However, Grant's men were eventually undone by two goals from old boys Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar before the break.
Worse was to follow at the start of the second half when defender Hermann Hreidarsson was carried off with a suspected snapped Achilles before substitute Danny Webber suffered a knee problem and England keeper David James, who had been troubled by a calf injury, was also unable to finish the game.
It is feared that Hreidarsson's season and perhaps, at the age of 35, his career could be over, while both Webber and James may now be doubts for the FA Cup semi-final against Spurs at Wembley in a fortnight.
It was the last news Grant wanted - given the likes of Ricardo Rocha, Tommy Smith, Marc Wilson, Nadir Belhadj, Papa Bouba Diop, John Utaka, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Tal Ben Haim and Hassan Yebda are all in a busy treatment room.
Jamie O'Hara is also unlikely to be available for the cup tie under the terms of his loan deal from Spurs, while Aruna Dindane is unavailable because another appearance will trigger a payment to Lens which the cash-strapped club simply cannot afford.
Grant, though, is determined to fight on until the bitter end.
"I don't remember this situation with players happening for a long, long time, and I am wondering what is going to happen next," the former Chelsea boss said.
"However, I don't want to have an easy way out, when there is a difficult situation, I will fight.
"We will not give up. We will continue playing with pride and be professional until the end.
"If you forget about all the problems this season, how we have played in some games has been amazing."
Grant was already so short of bodies that he drafted in youngsters Joel Ward, Matt Ritchie and Lennard Sowah, but could still only name six substitutes.
"This week is the week of the medical department," Grant declared.
"They need to do everything they can because right now I am not even sure if we will have 11 players for the Blackburn game next week."
While James is confident his calf problem is only a minor twinge, the early prognosis for full-back Hreidarsson does not look too promising, the Icelander
needing to take gas for the pain as he was carried off.
"Hermann had been playing with an ankle injury," Grant revealed.
"Normally we would have let him rest, but because we had no-one available he played and this is what has happened."