Doyle: Now's time to fire Pompey promotion dream
MICHAEL DOYLE believes now is the time for promotion lift-off.
The Pompey skipper knows victory at high-flying Carlisle in tomorrow’s key showdown can create momentum at a crucial moment of the campaign for his team.
And Doyle vowed Paul Cook’s men will be going all out in the pursuit of a huge three points in a match which could prove defining for the Blues’ League Two season.
Victory at Brunton Park will see Pompey three points off the Cumbrians, with a game in hand and 14 games remaining.
Defeat, and it’s a nine-point gap to the top three, leaving Cook’s side with an uphill battle to go up automatically.
Doyle, though, feels this could be the moment for his side to inject real impetus into their campaign.
‘I think we’ll be going out all guns blazing,’ he said.
‘Everyone’s going to be looking. The teams up above and the Lutons are going to be looking to see who slips up.
‘We’re aware of that, but I think the most important thing is to focus on ourselves.
‘We’re in a good place, but that can change quickly in football. We know that.
‘We’re going to be playing on a great surface and hope to be on the front foot.
‘If we play well, without being disrespectful, I always fancy us to win the game. It’s as simple as that.
‘We’re looking forward to it. The important thing for us is to just play well.
‘I felt at Wycombe we played well and were unlucky. But that set us up going into Accrington and Blackpool. It seemed to kick us on.
‘This is a massive game and we’ve sold out our allocation for a match that is six or seven hours away.
‘It doesn’t surprise you, but those kind of things make for a great game. I’m sure they’ll be packed as well.
‘I think it’s just right. I think the timing is just ready to take off. I hope so.’
Pompey travel to Brunton Park with the best defensive record in League Two.
They will be facing an outfit who’ve shown strong goalscoring form all season, but haven’t kept a clean sheet since early October.
Doyle’s side have been showing a more resilient edge of late and haven’t conceded in open play for three games.
The 35-year-old feels there has been real progress on that front since last season.
Doyle added: ‘Last year, physicality was thrown at us. I don’t think that’s an issue this year.
‘Last year we went to the likes of Barnet and were bullied a bit. The pitch, and such like, we really let it all affect us.
‘Now, it seems the lads are more ready for what’s thrown at them.
‘We’ve got some big characters. Personally, I don’t think anyone has really done that to us this year.
‘That was lobbed at us before, so I think we’ve grown on that side of things.
‘We seem to be getting into the habit of it this year.’