Pompey defender: Missing out on play-offs would be criminal
NATHAN THOMPSONÂ admitted it will be criminal if Pompey fail to make the League One play-offs this season.Â
The tough-tackling right-back is desperate to reach the Championship with the Blues and insistedÂ 'it's about time' he tested himself against wingers in the division above.
Thompson moved to Fratton Park from SwindonÂ last summer, believingÂ it's a club that can quench his thirst to feature in the second tier.
Kenny Jackett's troops finished eighth in League One last campaign.
Thompson, 27, was disappointed the Blues missed out on a top-six berth.
But he reckons there is a 'real opportunity' this time around.Â
Thompson said:Â 'Without a doubt, it would be a disappointing (if Pompey don't reach the play-offs).
Â 'There's a real opportunity this year and the lads are itching to get into the Championship.Â
'Looking back it was disappointing we didn't make the play-offs last season.
'It would be criminal if we were not to make it this year.
'It is so important. There's a reason why I signed for this club and I know for the likes of Browny (Lee Brown) and Nayls (Tom Naylor) it's why they signed.
'They don't want to be in League One. This club needs to be back in the Championship.
'I'm itching to play in the Championship
'As a player, you always aspire to play as high as possible.Â
I've played more than 200 games in League One. It's about time I started pushing myself against forwards and wingers who have got those Premier League and Championship credentials.
'I'm certainly striving for it. I'd say I'm coming into the later years of my career now - it's about time I got into the Championship.'
Thompson feels Pompey missed out on the play-offs last term was because of the number of games they lost.
Jackett's troops suffered 20 league defeats in total.
However, the former Swindon captain has been impressed by his manager's recruitment over the summer.
The experience of the likes of Lee Brown and Tom Naylor is something Thompson believes will be key.
'You look back at the table at the end of the season and we had 20 defeats,' he added.
'For a team who wants to get into the Championship, you can't be losing that many games.Â
'In some games we were fantastic - you look at the Wigan at home, for example.
'And then on the flip side, you look at the Charlton game.
'But the gaffer has brought in some new recruits to give us a bit of experience.
'We look back at January and February time and we were a bit light.
'Hopefully, we have got a bit more strength in depth this year.Â
'I look at the squad and think we have got a real chance here.'