Michael Doyle: Time for Pompey to show title credentials

Michael Doyle remonstrates with the referee after Pompey's 2-2 draw with Carlisle Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle remonstrates with the referee after Pompey's 2-2 draw with Carlisle Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gallen: Pompey defender can continue at left-back

  • Pompey have collected 12 points from a possible 27 at Fratton Park this season
  • Tonight they host a York side sitting one place above the relegation zone
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Michael Doyle told his Pompey team-mates: It’s time to show we can win this league.

The Blues currently sit fifth in the League Two standings – eight points off leaders Plymouth.

Michael Doyle celebrates with his team-mates during the opening day victory against Dagenham & Redbridge at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler

Michael Doyle celebrates with his team-mates during the opening day victory against Dagenham & Redbridge at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler

No side has lost fewer games in the division – although Pompey comfortably top the draw charts with nine to date.

Paul Cook’s troops face relegation-threatened York at Fratton Park tonight – an encounter any self-respecting promotion hopeful would be licking their lips at.

But the Blues’ shortcomings on home turf have been an on-going frustration this term.

And following Saturday’s heartbreaking 2-2 draw at Carlisle, their skipper has called on the side to start demonstrating the quality he is adamant they possess.

Maybe we are more relaxed away, maybe we are a bit too eager at home, then there are little things like we are not used to scoring goals at home

Michael Doyle

Doyle said: ‘Carlisle scored from the penalty spot on 44 minutes with their first shot on goal – that’s the way it is going for us at the minute.

‘No matter how good you are, you are always going to have a spell over a course of the season where things don’t go your way. You are going to lose games, you are going to go on a run of winning games.

‘Unfortunately, we are going through a phase where we just seem to can’t get that result over the line, but we have got to do that tonight, it’s a very important game for us.

‘Fratton Park hasn’t been the best place for us of late. We have been predictable to play against and it has not dropped for us, but we have to kick on now.

‘If we are really serious about winning this league – and we are – we need to build off the back of performances like that at Carlisle.

‘Maybe we are more relaxed away, maybe we are a bit too eager at home, then there are little things like we are not used to scoring goals at home.

‘I think the crowd have been brilliant at Fratton Park, they have really stuck by us and got behind us, but we haven’t managed to get the results.

‘Winning becomes a habit and at the minute we are getting into a habit where we are struggling to get victories.

‘After disappointments like that at Carlisle, the big thing is having another game tonight to put it right. You just want to get that disappointment out of your system.’

The Blues have won only two of their nine league games at Fratton Park this season.

Those home victories have come against Dagenham & Redbridge and Barnet, with none arriving since September 12.

Although Exeter is the sole defeat, Pompey have still collected a frustrating 12 points from a possible 27 – in contrast to five wins on their travels.

However, tonight they have the opportunity to instigate a change of fortune through the visit of a York side who are one place above the relegation zone.

Doyle added: ‘As much as the disappointment of Saturday, anyone present – whether it be fans, players and their staff – know how well we played

‘I am not being disrespectful but I just feel with the players we have and the way we play we will kick on and win a lot of games.

‘I really believe that, I really do.’