Grant looking forward to Portsmouth-Chelsea showdown

Grant believes Portsmouth’s remarkable progress to the cup final offers hope to all clubs.

May 11, 2010 04:45
2 minute read.
Avram Grant (AP).

avram grant good 311. (photo credit: AP)

Avraham Grant is eagerly anticipating Portsmouth’s FA Cup final encounter against Chelsea on Saturday and believes his team has a chance of springing a surprise despite its many struggles.

Portsmouth was relegated from the Premier League after finishing last in the standings and its future remains under serious doubt following the financial chaos which led to its bankruptcy. However, even though Pompey will be coming up against the league’s new champion at Wembley, Grant remains optimistic.

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“This season, we did not know what would happen from day to day, but I knew we would never give up and would fight,” said Grant, who will be looking for a small measure of revenge against Chelsea, which sacked him in May 2008, three days after losing in the Champions League final.

“I’m very excited, there is no reason to be nervous. We are trying to enjoy it. I know that we deserve to enjoy this week and not think about the bad things that we’ve had this season. We need to think about the positive side. We are going to Wembley against a very, very good team, the champions, all the league is between us. But still we need to perform well and that’s what we want to do.”

Grant believes Portsmouth’s remarkable progress to the cup final offers hope to all clubs.

“For a big club to be in the final is something usual,” he said. “Nobody will remember when a big club takes the cup because that is what everybody expects. But everybody remembers that Southampton beat Manchester United and Sunderland beat Leeds.

“Everybody will remember this season that Portsmouth, very proud, came to the final. I think it is good for the sport also – soccer is sometimes about fairytales and stories like this. Against all odds you do something that is unbelievable and gives hope to all the others.”

Grant, who expects a very tough match against Chelsea, has yet to decide if he will remain at Pompey next season.

“Chelsea has played well in the last month, scoring lots of goals, but we just have to stay positive,” he said. “Chelsea is a very good team, the best squad in England, and will come in a good mood, but we want to do our job.

“I have fallen in love with this club because I see the passion, how the fans are behind this team,” Grant added. “The fans are the identity of the club – to see the passion and the emotions, the commitment, the loyalty around, this is a love story.”

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