Never one to rest on his laurels, and not bask in the glory of a fine win for too long, John Mousinho’s thoughts instantly turned to Portsmouth’s next game.
Pompey tightened their grip at the top of League One with a great performance on Monday night. A win that extended their lead to six points over the team they beat, Bolton Wanderers. Over 19,000 packed into Fratton Park to see what was billed as the game of the season in that division so far, and it lived up to that.
But now the manager is already looking ahead to this weekend’s game, knowing that it provides a different kind of test and one that he has to prepare for thoroughly.
The South Coast side will travel up to Shrewsbury Town, a team that has only lost three times in their ten games played at their Croud Meadow ground. Sitting just outside the playoff places, the Shrews will aim to put a dent in Pompey’s parade, and as they come off the Monday night high it could be just the time to catch them.
Mousinho was as diplomatic as any manager coming off a big win, and when talking to the media, he highlighted the importance of the Bolton win but warned off any complacency for his players.
“I think a pretty big one for the next couple of days, but then it is done. We are then going to go away to Shrewsbury and it is going to be a tough game. I saw them at Wycombe on Saturday, good side.
“I know it sounds a bit boring because we cannot get too carried away with what we have done tonight, but yes, we will let everyone else in the outside world get carried away with that.
“We have work to do; we are going to come in tomorrow, a bit boring for the lads, we will come in tomorrow and review everything we have done tonight and then go again on Saturday.
“We need another really big performance.”
Portsmouth have a big target on their backs now. They have proved they are the team to beat, and at this point, there is still so much to play for. Teams like Shrewsbury will want to make their own run with a shot at promotion, and a win over the top side does wonders for the confidence.
If this was a little later in the season, mid-table teams have little to lose, so putting one over a top side brings excitement for the supporters. This is something that Mousinho will have to drill into his side in the coming months, as they hunt promotion, they are also the hunted.