FOOTBALL: Perrin Set on Rising Again; WEST BROM......2 Horsfield 2, 59 PORTSMOUTH..1 Robert 63

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Byline: By ADRIAN MILLEDGE

ALAIN PERRIN remained defiant after Portsmouth produced another performance that suggests a season of struggle.

Defeat at the Hawthorns was Pompey's second on the bounce, and leaves them pointless and propping up the Premiership.

All of which adds fuel to the predictions tipping Perrin's men for relegation.

The Pompey boss, however, is confident his team will come good.

He said: "It's not a problem to me that people are saying we will go down.

"It is a challenge and I'm sure we've got the quality to stay up.

"I believe people will see the difference in a couple of weeks and you can't judge us after just two games."

Despite the defeat, Perrin felt his team played better than they had in the opener against Spurs.

He added: "We didn't play against Spurs but this time we fought well.

"Laurent Robert's free kick showed us the way and in the end I thought we deserved a draw."

Pompey might have got it had Giannis Skopelitis not fired over the crossbar from close range in the closing minutes.

Had the substitute scored, however, a draw would have been at odds with what had gone before.

Pompey were up against it from the second minute after Geoff Horsfield nodded home Jonathan Greening's cross.

And they should have been further adrift midway through the half, but Horsfield failed to capitalise on more slack defending from Perrin's men.

Set up by Zoltan Gera's low cross, Horsfield was not so sharp this time as he scooped the ball over the Portsmouth bar.

Earlier, Pompey had an appeal for a penalty ignored after Lomano LuaLua tumbled over a Thomas Gaardsoe challenge.

But the striker appeared to have lost control of the ball long before it was gathered by Chris Kirkland. …