Naylor toasts powerful Portsmouth message to League One rivals

Tom Naylor is convinced Pompey are back.

Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 10:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 11:20 pm
Tom Naylor celebrates after netting Pompey's second against Bradford. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the midfielder believes Saturday’s ‘massive boost’ has delivered a crucial reminder to their League One rivals.

Kenny Jackett’s men hammered Bradford 5-1 on Saturday during a devastating display.

The comprehensive victory marked a first win in nine league matches for the Blues, whose form has dipped dramatically since the new year.

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Certainly it was back to their best for a side which spent three-and-a-half months at the top of the table earlier in the campaign.

And, with 11 matches remaining, Naylor is adamant the blip has been banished.

He said: ‘Against Bradford it looked like the side before Christmas, it felt like it to be honest.

‘We knew our jobs, knew what we had to do, and we know we have to pick a run now with 11 games left. If we can get a run going now until the end of the season you never know.

‘Hopefully we sent out a message because I think we are over the blip now, we know our capabilities in that changing room, we know we can do that.

‘Everyone has a blip, it is part and parcel of football. We had our blip a month ago, it was horrible to be in because it just felt like we couldn’t get a win.

‘We were trying our best week in, week out and just couldn’t get that win. I thought we should have beaten Barnsley and that was a confidence boost for us.

‘On Saturday our shape was good, we worked hard as a team, it was back to how it was at the start of the season, the togetherness, everything.

‘It’s a hard league to come out off – and we will keep on pushing.’

Saturday represented a first league win since AFC Wimbledon on New Year’s Day.

During that period, the Blues slipped from the League One summit to their present placing of fourth.

Naylor scored in the welcome win over Bradford, along with Gareth Evans, Ben Close (two) and Jamal Lowe.

And now he believes the side are back on track.

He added: ‘Everyone could see we weren’t far off.

‘Draws aren’t wins, but we didn't lose games, that’s the most important thing. We could have lost five games on the bounce, but we drew and that is another boost for us.

‘Against Barnsley there was a penalty miss and we had a good chance, really we should have taken those chances, we didn’t, and took a point out of it.

‘On Tuesday night against Bury, the first half wasn’t really us but in the second we beat them 3-0 – then we won 5-1 against Bradford and it was a massive boost for us.

‘Now we go into the rest of the season.’