Adam Barton is convinced Pompey can finally finish the job of inflicting an FA Cup upset on Ipswich.
Paul Cook’s side were an agonising two minutes from knocking the Championship high-fliers out of the competition 10 day ago.
It was about managing the game and I don’t think they would have scored in open play. To me they were only going to score from a free-kick or cornerPaul Cook
Ryan Fraser’s 88th-minute free-kick secured a 2-2 draw in a contest even Tractor Boys boss Mick McCarthy conceded the hosts deserved to lose.
Now the sides meet in a replay at Fratton Park tonight (7.45pm) to at last settle the third-round fixture.
Pompey will name a strong side, with skipper Michael Doyle and Christian Burgess both returning to the starting line-up.
And Barton, who is to revert to his accustomed midfield role, believes the Blues can once and for all see off Ipswich.
He said: ‘I don’t see why we can’t beat them, when we went away we showed our quality against really good opposition.
‘We were unlucky with the goal conceded so late on and the final result was very frustrating, it felt like a loss when we came in at full-time.
To score twice against Ipswich showed good quality from our team, and the way we played and went about the game was superb. I actually thought we were very unfortunate with both goals conceded, but that’s football.
‘As soon as we scored the second we felt we had to get behind the ball, even if it meant kicking it away, which we didn’t do all match.
‘It was about managing the game and I don’t think they would have scored in open play. To me they were only going to score from a free-kick or corner.
‘But it was a foul on our keeper and the foul committed in the first place by Marc McNulty wasn’t a foul at all.
‘We stepped up our game a little bit but have been playing like that all season. League Two teams drop and defend whereas Ipswich had to come at us so it opened up a lot of spaces to pass the ball.
‘That helped a lot and I think it will be the exact same tonight. Hopefully we can repeat that performance and this time get a win.’
The 25-year-old impressed in that Portman Road draw, featuring in the centre of the Pompey defence.
However, with Burgess back following five matches out with an ankle injury, Barton will move to a holding midfield role alongside Doyle.
For Cook, it reunites the central-defensive partnership between Burgess and Adam Webster that has previously been so impressive.
And for Barton it represents a first Blues midfield start since October.
He added: ‘With the manager liking the centre-halves to play, I think it suited me a lot.
‘It does help with the way we play. If we were like a lot of other teams in League Two, where you just head it and kick it as a centre-half, it wouldn’t be the place for me.
‘Now I’m looking forward to playing in midfield again.’