BLACKPOOL have been backed to rise to the atmosphere created by the travelling Pompey faithful.
Seasiders boss Gary Bowyer is looking forward to welcoming 1,500-plus Blues supporters to Bloomfield Road on Saturday.
The away fans are set to up the volume at a ground which has been lacking noise, with home fans continuing to boycott games.
That’s in protest at the controversial Oyston family, who this week were ordered to pay £31m to former director Valeri Belokon by the High Court.
Bowyer feels, though, having a healthy away contingent will help create an occasion his team will react to.
He told the Blackpool Gazette: ‘I’ve heard they’re bringing around 1,500 and that’s brilliant. It just shows you the value of putting it at the weekend.
‘Last season we played them on a Tuesday night – and even though they still came up in their numbers, this time they can make a weekend of it. And why not?
‘So I think it’s a sensible decision to have it on a Saturday.
‘We know there’s going to be an atmosphere and when we’ve had it before this season we’ve performed, and I have no doubt we will perform again this weekend.’
Pompey were poor in the corresponding fixture last season as they fell to a 3-1 loss, before picking up a 2-0 success in the February return.
Bowyer sees that having little bearing on the game this weekend, with Kenny Jackett – a manager he holds in high regard – now at the helm.
He said: ‘They’ve got a very experienced manager there. He’s really good, Kenny. I like him and I like listening to him.
‘I also like the way he plays and how he sets his teams up.
‘So we know it’s going to be a good challenge, but it’s one we’re looking forward to.
‘He doesn’t stay out of work for too long because of his credentials and I’m sure he has his sights set on getting close to 1,000 games as a manager.
‘It’ll be a bit of a different game to last season because personnel has changed for both teams.
‘They play a bit of a different style to how they did last season, but Kenny has his own philosophy of how the game should be played.
‘I came across him several times when he was at Wolves so we’re aware of that. But there’s not much of a difference because they’ve still got very good footballers.’