Captain's Blog - Team determined

For the first 30 minutes at Sunderland we executed our game plan perfectly and at 1-0 with a lot of possession the game was one that we looked like winning comfortably. So, to finish the game on the losing side and for them to score in the dying seconds was very frustrating. Sunderland are a team fighting for Premier League survival which was evident by the way they kept scrapping till the end but we should have matched them for that fight.

One of this club's strongest characteristics is the fighting spirit, which we proved in abundance last season and once again this season with the difficult circumstances we have found ourselves in. So, it is disappointing from our point of view that we did not use more of that last weekend. However, this does not mean that all hope is lost . If anything the reaction from the boys this week in training has been one of determination to finish the season on a high. This starts with Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

I welcome the staff players and fans of Portsmouth and congratulate them on a great season to date which was topped off at the weekend with the fantastic achievement of reaching the FA Cup final. It is of no surprise that Portsmouth are doing well because of their manager and former West Ham man, Harry Redknapp who has assembled a talented hard-working squad with what appears to be a fantastic team spirit. As a result this will be a difficult game but one we are confident of winning in front of our home crowd and under the floodlights of Upton Park. They will no doubt have one eye on the cup final but will also be on a tremendous high as well so we will be doing everything in our power to bring them back down to earth with a bump.

I urge you the fans to get right behind the team from the start and to spur us on to a much-needed three points and the start of a winning run that could see us sneak up the table and prove to everyone that the season is far from over. I can assure you that none of the players are resting on their laurels and want to take as many points as possible from these remaining six games and with several players expecting to return from injury in that time there is no reason why we can't have a strong finish.

Thanks for your continued support. Night games are always special at Upton Park, let's make sure this is no different.

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Lucas Neill