Portsmouth Boss Gives Insight To Promotion Chances

With recent results speaking heavily in their favour, Portsmouth are the clear favourites for the League One title this season, and automatic promotion looks very likely at this point in the season.

Although the gap to both Derby County and Bolton Wanderers has not changed during the midweek slate of games, that is in fact a huge boost for Portsmouth given they did not play.

Derby and Bolton would both fail to capitalise on their games in hand, and the gap between the leaders and those two still sits at seven points, a rather large gap at this point in the season. Though the Wanderers may still have one more game in hand, they cannot catch John Mousinho’s Portsmouth with a win, and that will fill fans with confidence.

They may have been held to a 0-0 draw to an improving Charlton Athletic on Saturday, but with the other two teams in the top three both losing, it would actually turn out to be a good result for the league-leaders. That form was even franked on Tuesday night, with Charlton beating Derby 2-1 away from home.

With eleven games left in the season, it seems as if at this point it is Portsmouth’s to lose. Rather than thinking of that in a negative aspect, Pompey boss Mousinho has looked ahead to the run in and has harnessed the recent positivity surrounding the club.

They face both Derby and Bolton in the run in, and wins against both would heavily increase their chances of automatic promotion, and would give them an even better chance of claiming the League One title.

Although their run in is by no means simple, six home games at what will most likely be a sold out Fratton Park, should also help increase their chances.

In an interview with The News, Mousinho emphasised the fans’ importance in the run in to the end of the season.

“For the last 11 games we have six home games, which should hopefully in terms of atmosphere and the way the fans support, should take care of themselves.

Our away form though has been really good and a big part of that has been the fans we take away from home. It does feel like we’re playing at home. All of that and the gravity of the situation and the heightened atmosphere will hopefully help us.

When people say play the game and not the occasion I understand that, but sometimes it’s good to play the occasion as well and do that to your advantage.”

Although there was no clear message regarding the club’s promotion chances, the manager would give somewhat of an answer.

“It would be a bit naive of me if I didn’t at least recognise we have a lot to play for over the final 11 games.”

As the manager states, the club has plenty to play for in their last 11 games, and they’ll be looking to return to the second tier for the first time since the 2011/12 season.

Writer’s View

It would be silly to say that Portsmouth are not clear favourites now for both automatic promotion as well as the League One title. Given their recent form compared to the two chasers behind them, the likelihood of sealing promotion to the Championship only increases.

Saturday sees Mousinho face his former club and if able to gain three points against Oxford United, then Pompey may well be able to extend their lead at the top of the table.

With eleven games to go, and in their current vein of form, this is the best chance in which the south-coast side have had to gain promotion in recent years, and there’s no reason as to why they can’t go up as champions this year.

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