Bird encouraged by Pompey squad potential for new boss

Pompey striker Ryan Bird
Pompey striker Ryan Bird
Nathan Thompson. Picture: Sarah Standing

Pompey looking for history to repeat in cup

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Ryan Bird is convinced Pompey’s next manager will inherit a squad capable of reaching this season’s play-offs.

The Blues face Wycombe tonight (7.45pm) in the replay of the match washed out at half-time back in October.

Effectively, it marks both sides’ game in hand on the rest of League Two, with one place separating them in the table respectively.

Managerless Pompey have drifted 11 points away from the final play-off spot. More worryingly, they are four points off the relegation zone.

Still, under caretaker boss Andy Awford, the Blues picked up a goalless draw at Hartlepool last weekend to end a run of five successive defeats.

Tonight’s game also comes when the club board are edging closer to naming a new boss.

And Bird believes the potential remains to challenge for seventh spot and above.

He said: ‘Wycombe are a good side. In the first half when we played them it was raining but they got the ball down and played well.

‘We’ll have got a lot of confidence from Hartlepool, though, picking up a clean sheet and the way we played.

‘I would love to get promotion. The players are good enough to give it a real good go.

‘The league doesn’t start taking shape until after Christmas usually. But if you go on a great run you can still get up there easily, it’s so tight.

‘Those play-off places are still the goal. We have a good enough team and a good enough squad to do it.

‘It’s just gelling as a team and learning how others play and I think it’s coming on week-by-week.

‘We will turn it around, hopefully, and give the fans something to cheer about.’

Pompey are currently in 17th spot, with the Chairboys one place above – and one point better off – in 16th.