Danny Rose is hoping Pompey’s fresh legs can aid their bid for a first away victory of the season at Exeter tomorrow (3pm).
The Blues’ early departure from the EFL Trophy at Coventry meant they played no part in Tuesday night’s second-round action as the Grecians lost 3-1 at home to Premier League side Hull City.
And midfielder Rose is hoping the hosts’ energy-sapping loss to the Tigers can play into Pompey’s hands as they look to build on last weekend’s Fratton Park win against Colchester.
Having played at St James Park on numerous occasions, though, the 28-year-old is under no illusions as to how tough a task the Blues face.
He said: ‘Whenever I have played down there over the years it has always been in tough games.
‘Exeter play some good football and like to play out from the back.
‘But we have worked on a few things throughout this week in how to set up against them – especially defensively and how to nullify the way they play.
‘We have also looked at how to break them down as well.
‘It will be a tough one but we have had a good week of training and they have had a midweek game.
‘They have had to exert 90 minutes of football on Tuesday night and I think we are in a good place right now going into this game.
‘We will be fresh and ready to go off the back of last weekend’s win.’
Tomorrow’s trip to Devon sees the Blues bid to win on the road at the third time of asking in League Two, following a 0-0 draw at Crewe and 2-0 defeat at Morecambe.
Standing in Rose’s way of helping the visitors achieve that are a couple of familiar faces in the Exeter line-up.
And while the banter will be in full force come tomorrow afternoon, Rose insists he will not be allowing anything to disrupt his focus heading into the game.
‘They have a couple of players that I know well – Troy Brown, the centre-back, and Lloyd James in midfield,’ he said.
‘I played with Troy when I was at Aldershot on loan for the season.
‘And I know Lloyd from growing up in Bristol together and playing against each other in junior sides.
‘I think they have recruited well and have got good experienced players in – those two are good players at this level.
‘I won’t be speaking to them before the game but certainly during and after there will be a bit of bravado and friendly banter between us.
‘But we are there to win.’
– JEFF MARSHMAN