Jackett: Pompey fighting for two spots
KENNY JACKETT has targeted the two League One play-off spots he believes are up for grabs.
And Pompey’s boss has called on his side to maintain new-found momentum to grasp one of them.
Shrewsbury, Wigan and Blackburn are scrapping it out for the two automatic promotion places.
Adrift by 11 points are Rotherham, themselves occupying fourth place with a six-point advantage over teams below.
That currently leaves Pompey fighting it out with Scunthorpe, Peterborough, Plymouth, Charlton and Bradford for the two remaining play-off positions.
Following successive victories, the Blues have re-emerged as contenders during the final eight matches of the campaign.
And Jackett is seeking for his team to push on.
He said: ‘It looks to me that we are competing for fifth and sixth spots.
‘It’s still open for quite a number of teams, and we are one of them competing for those places.
‘Whoever does it – and we are in this bracket – will need a high amount of consecutive wins. But it’s possible.
‘We have been on the fringes of the play-offs for most of the season, I don’t think we’ve been in the bottom half much, if at all.
‘We’ve also, briefly, been in the top six at the end of December to mid-January.
‘After that we have remained within touching distance of the play-offs.
‘I still say 75 points will definitely get you in. That’s fewer points required than last season, although you never know, a couple of sides could win all their remaining games.
‘If you get to Easter and your season is still in front of you then you are competing.
‘Looking at our remaining fixtures, we have Plymouth, Peterborough, Charlton and Bradford – sides in and around us.
‘We are all capable of getting into the play-offs – and matches like that are a direct opportunity to be able to affect your rivals.’
Jackett has long insisted Pompey were in the play-off frame, despite disappointing results since the turn of year.
In particular, Fratton Park yielded just two points from a possible 18 until Sunday’s 3-0 win over Oxford.
Now the Blues have registered consecutive wins, rising into eighth place – two points off sixth spot.
Jackett added: ‘I look back on our last four away matches with nine points out of 12, which is very good.
‘Before Oxford, the last four at home was one point out of 12 and can stretch past that as well. That was disappointing, considering how strong we were in the first half of the season.
‘Probably that away form kept us ticking over when we didn’t necessarily make any ground. We remained in the running.
‘Now we go into Easter and there is still an opportunity. It’s a big one and it’s one we want to take.’