Pompey boss refuses to criticise players

Ricardo Fuller scored the only goal of the game in the 74th minute, while Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen saved a penalty from Kevin Prince Boateng.

“At the moment I feel very hard done by, although when we had a penalty, you expect to score,” he told Sky Sports.

“After that I don’t think he has had a shot to save our goalie (Jamie Ashdown) so you have to say you have to come out with something.

“I couldn’t (see them scoring). I was comfortable. I thought our defenders were excellent, the midfield was superb, but we could have perhaps created a little more in the final third, around the box, but overall I thought we were in control.

“It’s very hard to be critical of my players, I have got to say, because through thick and thin they try to win football matches and that’s what we set out to do and it’s very hard to swallow.”