COMMENT: Will Rooney’s Pompey play-off verdict

Pompey's future planning included a new deal for Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey need 26 more points to reach Kenny Jackett’s projected figure of 75 and clinch a play-off spot.

That means the Blues must average 2.36 points per game and drop just seven.

Jackett’s side have refused to give up hope and will fight until it’s mathematically impossible.

Pompey are best-priced 5/1 with various bookmakers to finish in the top six.

As someone who very much likes a punt, I wouldn’t back that with someone else’s money.

In fact, I’d want double the odds to even think about laying down a wager.

On Saturday, Gillingham visit Fratton Park.

The Gills have been in resurgent form since Steve Lovell took over as manager.

He’s transformed them from relegation frontrunners to outside play-off contenders.

Gillingham sit in 12th place, just one spot and three points behind the Blues – but are as big as 80/1 to clinch a top-six spot.

Meanwhile, Bristol Rovers, on the same points and goal difference as the Blues, are 14/1.

If you’re a value seeker then it’s a no-brainer – back the Gills, as they could be level on points with Pompey come 5pm on Saturday.

Jackett’s troops have yet to win on their own patch in 2018.

Fratton Park was almost unbreachable in the impressive run of form before the turn of the year, which yielded Pompey moving into the top six.

However, they have gained just two points from 15 in 2018.

And although their remaining away trips on paper look favourable, each will prove tall order.

Bury and Rochdale are both fighting for survival, while Oldham are hovering just above the drop zone.

Meanwhile, Bradford are also in pursuit of a play-off spot and should reap the benefit of Simon Grayson’s knowledge.

Nevertheless, finishing on around 70 points would be highly commendable – and it’s doable.

Seven wins from their remaining 11 games would likely see Jackett’s side grab a top-10 spot.

From the outset of the season, consolidation was key.

That’s been achieved impeccably, with the Pompey boss planning for a charge at the Championship next term in the process.

Matt Clarke and Christian Burgess both penned contract extensions and were like new signings in themselves.

Meanwhile, Jackett’s youthful squad is only going to improve.

The likes of Conor Chaplin, Ben Close and Jack Whatmough are still well off peaking yet.

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