Darel Russell geared up for tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy derby with Bournemouth and told his team-mates: Think of Wembley.
Pompey take on their rivals from along the coast for the second time in 17 days at Fratton Park after their 1-1 League One opener.
It will be the Blues’ first-ever foray into the tournament following their relegation from the Championship last season.
Michael Appleton’s side are six wins away from making it to Wembley.
That would be their third cup final in four years after the 2008 and 2010 FA Cup finals.
That opportunity should be enough motivation for the players, according to Russell.
He said: ‘I’ve played a couple of games in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
‘It’s a cup where you can have realistic hopes of getting yourselves to Wembley.
‘All of the boys have to be hungry to get themselves involved in a game like that.’
Russell put five months without a competitive game behind him as he made his Pompey bow against Oldham in Saturday’s 1-0 loss.
Tonight’s meeting represents a chance to gain a first win this season against a local rival – something which has Russell fired up.
He said: ‘They are rivals. We know now what a derby game is all about.
‘It’s always an exciting and lively game and one to look forward to and it’s a chance to bounce back and get that first win on the table.
‘We are looking to put points on the board as well.
‘Sunday will be the next opportunity to do that against Crawley but the Bournemouth game can give us a platform by getting that first win.’