Jackett: Pompey have not overachieved this season
For Kenny Jackett, there has been no League One overachievement.
And Pompey’s boss is adamant promotion has remained his unflinching target during the campaign’s duration.
Play-off aspirations received a jolt on Tuesday night with a 3-1 defeat at Bradford which prompted the Blues to lose pace.
They now stand one point and two places off Scunthorpe, who currently occupy the final play-off position having played a match fewer.
Elsewhere, seventh-placed Plymouth have two games on Pompey, with a point more.
Jackett has challenged his side to secure maximum points from their final three matches of the season.
However, they would still require results elsewhere to fall in their favour in order to break into the top six.
Regardless, Jackett takes no solace in the fact it has still been a hugely encouraging return to League One surroundings.
The Blues boss said: ‘We have always targeted promotion, that has to be your aim.
‘All 24 clubs at the start of the season decide they will do everything they can to get into the Championship.
‘We have been within touching distance, even now it is still our aim and we have to keep focusing on that and do everything we can to achieve it.
‘I don’t think we have overachieved, we have been where we are.
‘At times we have been a work in progress, at times we have had some very good young players and that’s good.
‘It depends what your viewpoint is. For me, we always need to improve.
I just want to keep taking the club forward with a lot of very good young players.
‘It’s no good just saying that, you have to set the bar where they can achieve because this group is very capable.
‘In terms of the overall development of the team and the club, there are good signs.
‘But we obviously need to turn that into results and consistently push towards the top of the league. That’s our aim – as it has been for many teams.’
Pompey host fifth-placed Charlton on Saturday knowing victory is essential.
Having played the same amount of games and two points adrift of the Addicks, Jackett is aware that three successive victories will ensure they’ll finish above their play-off rivals.
Then attention turns to the trip to Bury, already relegated from League One with 26 defeats in their 43 fixtures so far this campaign.
Finally, Jackett’s troops host ninth-placed Peterborough, who themselves still have promotion aspirations.
He added: ‘It’s not over yet, though, we have two out of the three at home.
‘We will need that crowd, like Bradford needed theirs and were great for them, and also have an away game at Bury.
‘We have winnable situations and at Fratton Park there’s still Charlton on Saturday, with the last game against Peterborough.
‘It is still there for us, we have got to do everything we can within our power to get the wins needed. There is an opportunity for us and we have to take it.’