Redknapp hails comeback
Harry Redknapp praised his side's second-half performance as Portsmouth came from behind to beat Boro 2-1.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 13/09/08 9:22pm
Harry Redknapp praised his side's second-half performance as Portsmouth came from behind to beat Middlesbrough 2-1.
Sticking to the 3-5-2 formation which previously beat Everton, Pompey dominated possession but could not make it count in the final third.
Despite controlling the midfield and Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch having a few half chances, it was Middlesbrough who went ahead through a Mido finish.
With the second half all to play for, Redknapp reverted back to the 4-4-2 formation and brought on John Utaka and new signing Nadir Belhadj to get back into the game.
They got their rewards when the home side's pacey forward Defoe was the man of the moment bagging a brace and helping Portsmouth to claim the three points.
"If you're coming back from 1-0 down at half-time it's never easy," Redknapp told Sky Sports.
"But at half-time I thought we could still get back into it. In the second half we really got at them.
"The two lads down the left-hand side were fantastic - Belhadj and (Armand) Traore showed great pace and skill and were willing to get down the sides to pick (Peter) Crouchy out up front with Defoe a real threat and Glen (Johnson) got forward on the other side with John Utaka. It was just a much better second half."
With the little and large combination of Defoe and Crouch looking like one to watch this season, Redknapp could not help but heap more praise on the striking partnership worth £20million.
"They're learning to play together and we're learning to play with Crouchy," Redknapp spoke of the devastating duo.
"You've got to drop quality balls up to him (Crouch) and if you can drop good balls up to him then he can hold it up and bring Defoe into play. That's how he wants to play.
"I thought we got the blend right, especially second half today, we had a bit of width, we got crosses in, and we always looked a threat."