AFTER a shaky first-half from the Hammers made worse by losing three players to injury, Manager Alan Pardew was satisfied to take a point away from the match and delighted with the character displayed by his team in their second-half comeback.
Speaking after the match Alan said: "We knew with them getting a result last week that it was going to be a tough start to the game and we didn't deal with it very well. We also lost three players by half-time and things were not looking good for us, but that is the beauty of half-time; you have got a chance to sit people down, re-focus and get back out there with fresh heads. That is exactly what my players did, they have shown tremendous character all year and they did it again out there today.
"A few players who very low par in the first-half were very good in the second-half and we dominated the game and very nearly took three points. Christian Dailly had three very good chances where perhaps you would fancy him to score one of those but on reflection I think a point was the right result.
"Portsmouth had two or three shots on target and luckily for us that was about it because we did have a few moments where we looked a bit uncomfortable. The first-half just seemed to unfold in a nightmarish way and I had a lot of sympathy for the players, with the crowd, the ref, the opposition playing so well and our injuries but I just genuinely feel our display of character has been one of our key assets this season.
"Our fans would have left here today probably a bit bemused over the first-half, but hopefully thinking; you have to pay tribute to the team for the way they bounced back not just from the first-half performance but from the defeat against Newcastle as it was so important not to lose again after that result."
James Collins was maybe the surprise hero of the day grabbing the vital goal to give Hammers a share of the spoils, but Pards was not surprised to see the defender get on the score-sheet.
"James is a good technical player, I already knew that. He will admit he was one of the players who didn't have the best start to the game, maybe he was unnerved by Gabbidon being on the bench, but again he showed great character and great technique in the second-half and it was a great strike from the lad."
Danny Gabbidon's return from injury couldn't have been any shorter after he himself had to be subbed after only being on the pitch for six minutes. Alan Pardew said it was just one of those freak things that happens in football after the Welsh defender had been passed fit to play the previous day.
"Danny trained yesterday in what was a hard session and he came through that fine, the doctors and the physios were happy with him and Danny felt ok to play. Then in the first incident of the game he gets a bang on the knee from a heavy tackle and it opens the wound right up. I and my staff certainly won't make that mistake again, he has been stitched up again now and will almost certainly be out for the Christmas period."
Tomas is definitely out for the next few games with a hamstring, Hayden has been struggling with a bit of sickness so has half a chance of playing Wednesday and Paul Konchesky and Matty Etherington have both got knocks too. There is a possibility Yossi could be back for Charlton so that is a bonus for us."