Fans told: Bank on Pompey promotion
Pompey possess the fire-power to shoot them to promotion.
That is the verdict of Danny Hollands, who is convinced Paul Cook’s side can topple Carlisle to finish third in League Two at the minimum.
Crewe visit Fratton Park tomorrow for a fixture which could see the Blues break into the automatic promotion spots for the first time since September.
A hamstring and tendon tear has ruled Hollands out of lining up against the club he served for 93 games.
However, the midfielder retains an interest in Pompey’s progress through Blues-supporting friends and former playing colleagues.
The Fontwell-based 31-year-old shares the burning desire to see Fratton Park stage League One football next season.
And he is convinced it will be achieved.
Hollands said: ‘I expect Pompey to go up. If I was a Pompey fan, I would be optimistic.
‘With the fire-power they have, they are certainly going to score goals, and I don’t think there are teams in this league that can handle them.
‘Last season we struggled to score goals despite controlling games. This year Kal Naismith has a fantastic return of eight goals, Conor Chaplin, when given the chance, certainly scores goals – and they are the substitutes.
‘There are a lot of positives and more goals than last year, so stick by the lads.
‘I certainly believe there is enough firepower to get them out of the league.
‘No-one wants another repeat of the play-offs. You want it done and over the line as soon as you can and I still believe they will go up.
‘I don’t believe the league is as competitive as it was last season. Pompey aside, there’s Doncaster, while Luton aren’t a bad team, but apart from that I am not convinced.
‘Carlisle are in the top three but probably not a better team than they were last season, which kind of says something about the league. They will fade away.
‘Mansfield will probably make a late charge, they are not a bad team under Steve Evans, he has them playing well.
‘I don’t want to disrespect anyone, but I don’t think the league is as good a standard as last season for whatever reason.
‘There is no reason why Pompey cannot get into the top three and I would love to see them get promoted and play in League One next season.
‘I am still local. A lot of my friends are Pompey fans and I’ve had phone calls with them talking about the team and bits and bobs, so I hear it even when not playing there!
‘Hopefully they can get promoted.’
As ever, there remains nagging concerns over breaking down opposition at Fratton Park.
And Hollands can relate to such difficulties.
He added: ‘When people go there it’s like their cup final and it’s tough. Morecambe probably celebrated their point like winning a game.
‘You look at any level – even international – when you have underdogs going to places their game plans is to defend.
‘It’s not just people in League Two who struggle to break them down, there are others. It often takes something special to do that.’