COMMENT Solid but not spectacular... the story of 2017/18
six points off a play-off place, a whopp'ing 31 points off an automatic promotion place, and an eighth place finish.
They are the simple statistics of Portsmouth FC’s 2017/18 League 1 campaign following the final game of an inconsistent campaign at the weekend.
On the plus side, Kenny Jackett’s men won 20 third tier matches – more than fifth placed Scunthorpe. That is reason to be cheerful.
On the negative side, they lost 20 games as well – two more than relegated Oldham!
As always with football fans, opinions will be divided as to the main emotions of Pompey’s first season back in League 1 since 2012/13.
After all, there are few grey areas when it comes to Pele’s beautiful game.
Some Fratton regulars will no doubt be annoyed that the club did not make the play-offs.
Some will just be thankful the Blues were never embroiled in a relegation scrap.
Most, though, will almost certainly be satisfied with an eighth placed finish.
Solid but not spectacular sums it up fairly well.
Though Pompey came up as League 2 champions, the loss of boss Paul Cook and some of his title-winning regulars was a big blow to momentum.
Though Pompey have boasted the biggest crowds in League 1, they have not splashed out large sums on new players since Jackett arrived.
The Fratton faithful will now wait to see whether any are spent in the next few months.
Jackett is under no illusions. He knows his next goal is restoring the club to the Championship, but Pompey’s climb back up the football pyramid will take a lot longer than it took for them to slip from the Premier League to League 2.
But 2017/18 has seen more building blocks put in place and obvious progression, and for that we should all be grateful.