Knight: Pompey some way off Wembley, but we're thinking it
The Checkatrade Trophy may not be respected by everyone, but suddenly thoughts have turned to Wembley.
There is still a little way to go, of course, but Pompey have reached the last 16 following victory over Northampton.
Everyone has the right to attend a game or not, it is entirely up to them, we shouldn’t be digging anyone out either way here.
However, looking at the competition in terms of a player and the club, there is a prized opportunity to play at Wembley at stake.
During my career I never had that chance and it remains one of my regrets in football. I would be proper jealous if this team were to get there.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, three wins are still required to reach the home of football.
In the meantime, Pompey collected a comfortable 2-0 win over Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side on Saturday.
I thought the match was pretty awful in the first half and it can be difficult for players to lift themselves when you are playing in an atmosphere reminiscent of a reserve game or testimonial.
I don’t think it helped that a Northampton side in free-fall came with a game plan involving two banks of four behind the ball and slowing the game down to almost walking pace.
In honesty, I wasn’t overly impressed with them when they beat us at their place in September. Their keeper kept them in that match and the home win papered over the cracks.
Since then their results have backed up those thoughts, they are a team struggling for whatever reason.
After Gareth Evans had opened the scoring just before half-time, the Cobblers did come out and have a go for five minutes, but that was their lot.
Keeper Luke McGee produced a very good save down to his right, other than that I was not overly impressed with Northampton and we controlled the game.
David Cornell had quite a good game for them and they have some half-decent players, but the body language was poor, especially when the second goal went in. They were looking at each other, pointing fingers, always a worrying sign.
Suddenly we have six wins out of seven and in some weird and wonderful way the Checkatrade Trophy may have done us a favour.
We had lost four on the bounce before Charlton and everyone was doom and gloom – it shows how quickly things can change.
This competition has given the manager an opportunity to change things and look at different players – and it has clearly helped the team.