Now the real work begins!

Last updated : 21 September 2003 By Alex Dale
Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Thompson played a big part in guiding the 1995 Champions to success at Fratton Park last week, but feels that Pompey are more than good enough to beat the drop. "Portsmouth put us under a lot of pressure and I think they will do well this season if they keep playing like that" said Thompson yesterday.

"On that performance they will definitely stay up. They were unfortunate not to win at Arsenal but for a dodgy penalty, and it was only a last-minute equaliser at Manchester City that stopped them winning there.

"They have Premiership quality playing like that and I cannot see many teams beating them on their own ground like we did".

Redknapp concurred, adding: "It was never going to be easy at this level. Look how much Souness has spent. I don't know what people expect really. It is not as though we've set our sights on the Champions League or anything.

"Get real. We are Portsmouth and there are bound to be lots of defeats not just this one. But we've done really well so far and I do think we will stay up.''

The main issue now is to make sure the team responds well to the first defeat of the season. Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers are two sides in recent memory to make promising starts to the season only to slide towards trouble after suffering their first defeat. A home Carling Cup tie against Northampton Town in midweek will go some way to restoring confidence.