Moutaouakil: Current Pompey side are no strugglers

Pompey's Yassin Moutaouakil. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Yassin Moutaouakil. Picture: Joe Pepler

Yassin Moutaouakil toasted Pompey’s impressive Doncaster point and insisted: This team could have got into mid-table.

The Blues fought back on Saturday after a sloppy first-half display saw them head into the interval trailing to Chris Brown’s goal.

Jed Wallace grabbed the leveller on 75 minutes – a strike which secured a 1-1 draw at the home of the League One leaders.

It means Guy Whittingham’s men have now lost just two of their past eight matches during what is proving to be an encouraging period.

For Moutaouakil, that reflects the new-found spirit and ability in the current squad assembled by the caretaker boss.

And he is adamant, had this side been together since October, they would be in comfortable mid-table security at present.

He said: ‘It was a really good point against one of the best teams in the league away from home.

‘We are improving by the score – week in, week out.

‘Even when we lost on Tuesday (against Leyton Orient), it was a really good game.

‘To be fair, on Saturday we proved, even though we are near the bottom of the league, we have not given up – we’ve been strong.

‘If we had that team in October or November maybe we would have been safe and not bottom of the league.

‘We have got this team now and are doing really well, being really strong, not conceding any goals and having good results week in, week out. It’s a shame we haven’t got that team before, we could be 12th or 13th in the league by now.

‘What is so good is the spirit.

‘Maybe it is because we have got nothing to lose by playing because we know we are bottom of the league.

‘We are also following and respecting the manager – and have good players with a lot of experience.’

It was an improved second-half display which provided the platform for the Keepmoat Stadium point.

Whittingham reshuffled his troops at the interval and they upped their game in the second 45 minutes.

Moutaouakil added: ‘The first half was really hard for us.

‘We didn’t find each other by passing the ball. But we stayed strong, that is the only way we could stay in the game.

‘We came back into the dressing room and the manager tried to keep us together and we came back in the second half and scored.

‘We were a good team against Doncaster and gave them a lot of problems.

‘We stayed strong and scored one goal. We came back.

‘As for the pitch, I don’t want to say anything bad but their club should get fined for that!

‘To be fair, it is a great stadium, a massive dressing room – one of the biggest I have seen – so a lot of credit to the stadium.

‘But it is just a shame for the pitch.’