Fulham goalkeeping coach Dave Beasant is expecting a tough test from Portsmouth when he returns to Fratton Park with Chris Coleman’s side this weekend.
Beasant, who spent a season with Pompey following the tragic death of Aaron Flahaven, knows that Harry Redknapp’s side will be a tough nut to crack even if they are inching ever closer to Premiership survival.
“They’ve done very well, especially at home. They’ve been a real force; the fans get behind them and it’s a really intimidating place to go to. Survival in the Premiership was all that they had in mind and it looks like they’ve done it. They’ve got a good spine there; De Zeeuw at the back has had a very good season. So has Linvoy Primus who was there when I was in the team. Amdy Faye’s been doing well for them, and they’re a good attacking force – they’ve got a lot of pace up front. It will be a difficult game on Saturday, but we can go there with confidence and what we’ve got to do is make sure that we match their efforts.”
This will be the first game for a long time where they’ll feel they don’t have to win, so I guess that could work in our favour. But they won’t be giving anything less than one hundred per cent and their fans won’t accept it being otherwise. They still need a point to make sure they’re mathematically safe, but they’re at home and they won’t be happy to settle for just a point. But we’ve been doing well of late; we’re quite proud of our defensive record, apart from the slip-up against Blackburn we’ve been keeping clean sheets and looking good.
Beasant has been very pleased with how his first season as part of Coleman’s coaching set-up has panned out but cautioned against the pitfalls of getting carried away.
“Everybody knows how our chances were rated at the beginning of the season. There have been negatives – we had a disappointing spell after we beat Manchester United – our away form took a dip after that. And we’ve had chances where we could have put ourselves in a really strong position and we’ve slipped up. But overall it’s been a great season, the lads have been superb and it’s been a pleasure to work with them.
I’ve enjoyed every minute of being here. I thought the transition from being a player would give me a few sleepless nights, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it and everything is going really well. We’ve just had the Chairman down here and he’s said to us that he’d like to see us have a strong finish to the season. There still is the outside chance of a European place, but you don’t want to end the season with defeats, because I think you start the new season the way you ended the old one.
With Chris in control from the season before, we started this one well, and that’s something that’s in our minds now. You’ve got to be careful about talking up next season. Everyone will be saying how well we’ve done and predicting great things, and that’s when you can come unstuck. We’ve just got to make sure we get off to a good start and take it from there.”