Dunne: We’re not looking down

Pompey midfielder James Dunne Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder James Dunne Picture: Joe Pepler
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

13
Have your say

James Dunne has shrugged off the shrinking gap to the League Two danger zone.

The Pompey midfielder returned to the starting line-up for the 1-1 draw with Burton Albion after his recent knee injury and turned in a typical all-action display.

But while the result lifted Pompey one place in the table to 16th, there are now just three points between the Blues and second-from-bottom Dagenham & Redbridge.

That has raised concerns in some quarters, but Dunne is more worried about the 12 points between Pompey and the play-off places.

It’s an ambition that is looking increasingly distant and some supporters have already written off the team’s promotion hopes for another season.

Yet the 25-year-old remains convinced things can change quickly.

Dunne said: ‘We are not happy with where we are.

‘But we’ve just got to keep looking up.

‘I don’t even look down when I look at the table. We are not that far off where we want to be.

‘It’s not impossible – nobody has written anything off as far as the players are concerned.

‘This league can change pretty quickly.

‘The way we have been playing and training – I am convinced the points are going to come.

‘We’ve just got to keep going. If we keep doing the right things, it will turn.’

Dunne was among those setting his sights on climbing out of the basement division when he arrived at the club in the summer from Stevenage.

But after a bright start to the campaign, Pompey have been unable to repeat that form.

And asked if the season would be a failure if the Blues don’t make the play-offs, Dunne replied: ‘Maybe.

‘That is still our aim and we will keep going from game to game.

‘But in this league, if you can put a couple of runs together you are back up there.

‘If you get a week with a midweek game and string wins together, you are right back up there again.’

Pompey host another side in the play-off places this weekend as Southend visit.

They then travel to leaders Wycombe Wanderers the following weekend.

But, on paper, the fixture list looks a lot kinder in February and there is a definite opportunity to make progress – if the Blues can rediscover their missing consistency.

Dunne added: ‘It’s about finding that consistency. You’ve got to do it week in, week out.

‘It’s no good doing it now and again. Some of the teams have kept their runs going, but on any given day any team can beat anyone else in this league.

‘We are well capable of getting ourselves back up there.

‘As a team, I think we have been playing well. We just need a couple of wins.’