MATT TUBBS believes the next week will decide where Pompey’s season is going as he savoured his maiden league hat-trick.
Andy Awford’s men are brimming with confidence after their 6-2 demolition of Cambridge.
The Blues equalled their league goal tally on the road for the season with their Abbey Stadium goal spree.
It was the most strikes they had registered away from home since the 6-3 win at Leyton Orient in 1963.
The win saw Pompey deliver their first back-to-back successes since August as Tubbs took home the match ball with his treble.
The 30-year-old continued to be the scourge of Cambridge as he took his tally against the U’s to nine in eight games.
Now he’s waiting to see what two home games on the bounce can do to Pompey’s faint play-off ambitions.
Tubbs said: ‘I’ve scored a three at non-league level but that was my first in the league.
‘It was left foot, right foot and a header, too – the perfect hat-trick.
‘I’m not a striker who is going to beat five players, do six step-overs and score goals that way.
‘So I need the supply, and the deliveries from wide areas were superb.
‘I’ve been here for seven weeks but it feels like I’ve been here for a lot longer.
‘We’re confident and the mood is good. My confidence is sky high.
‘It felt like we were going to score every time we went forward.
‘Ryan (Taylor) does what he does very well. He showed why he’s a great player to play with.
‘The gaffer said go and do what we’ve been doing. He said go for it – and we went for it.
‘We are a match for anyone in this league. We’re looking up and looking forward, that’s the way it has to be.
‘It’s just confidence. If we have the confidence, we can beat teams. That’s massive for us.
‘We have to look up. Now, we have two tough games coming and then we can assess where we’re going.’
Tubbs believes there is undeniable impetus going into tomorrow’s clash with Tranmere, after Pompey made it 11 points from 15 with their memorable win. But the challenge is to capitalise on growing belief, with the Blues 12 points off the top seven.
Tubbs said: ‘If I’d scored one goal I would go into the Tranmere game on a massive high.
‘So to score three, you can imagine how good I’m feeling.
‘Now we have to keep that going against Tranmere.
‘They are a strong team and have picked up under the new manager.
‘So we know what to expect from them.
‘I’m thinking the fans will be buzzing after a win like that. So I expect there will be a decent atmosphere for the game.
‘We have two home games coming up this week and we have to make the most of it.’