The last two games for Portsmouth may have not been pretty, with 1-0 wins against Fleetwood and Port Vale respectively, but the club are grinding out the results that they need at the minute.
As a result, John Mousinho’s men still set at the top of the table, and after a bit of a wobble coming into the new year, some improvements have been seen at least in the last two games.
The race for the title, as well as the automatic promotion spot is really hotting up, with four teams engaging in battle. Just behind Portsmouth are Bolton Wanderers, Peterborough and Derby County, with the top four separated by just three points.
Although Bolton and Peterborough can both leapfrog Pompey if able to win their games in hand, the south-coast side already have those vital points on the board. The last two wins for Portsmouth have been pivotal to the club proving their title credentials.
Those wins may have only been against 24th-placed Fleetwood Town and 20th-placed Port Vale, but Mousinho’s men have battled through both to gain all three points. They’re now expected to continue that winning momentum as they travel to Oxford United on Tuesday in the only League One game of the night.
It is a pivotal game given that the gap at the top can be extended to five points with a win and although the teams behind will all have games in hand, it represents a great opportunity for Portsmouth to truly lay down their title credentials.
Pompey have been handed a boost in the defensive department with the return of Connor Ogilvie from injury, and the defender believes that the squad has the quality in it to stay at the top.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Ogilvie spoke about his return from injury and the need to put a winning run together.
“It’s been a really long time and so it felt amazing to be back out there with the boys and to get three points.
“We probably should have had a few more goals, but we’ll take the victory and move forward to Tuesday.
“There was just a bit more quality needed with our end product, although thankfully we got the penalty and Colby slotted it away.
“We had to deal with the threat of the long ball from Port Vale and then just let the front boys do their magic.
“The fans were amazing for us. Every game is massive and we want to stay top, so we need to go on a run.”
It is certainly not as pretty as some of their results in the first half of the season, but Portsmouth are finding ways to win which is the most important part at this point of the season.
The game against Oxford on Tuesday night is a huge one in the course of the season and a dominant win would be a statement to the teams around them.
The title fight will no doubt go down to the wire, but Portsmouth are expected to be bang there and might just be able to earn themselves a return to the Championship this season.