Defender bullish about Pompey bid

Nathan Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nathan Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey centre-back Matt Clarke is destined for bigger things. Picture: Joe Pepler

The biggest test Pompey face this transfer window

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The play-offs remain a realistic ambition as Pompey face a trio of ‘winnable’ festive matches.

That is the verdict of Nathan Thompson with a period of three games in six days kicking off on Boxing Day.

Defeat at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday saw Kenny Jackett’s men drop to eighth place in League One.

However, they are just one point adrift of sixth spot heading into the visit of relegation-threatened AFC Wimbledon.

Pompey also host third-from-bottom Northampton on Saturday, while travel to 17th-placed Bristol Rovers on January 1.

And the right-back is convinced that run of matches can strengthen their play-off hunt.

He said: ‘There’s a reason why I signed at the start of the season.

‘It was a case of the manager’s aspirations and the club’s aspirations.

‘We felt we could be challenging near the top of the table.

‘It took a little bit of time to gel and to get into our stride but you are starting to see that consistency we need in order to compete at the top of the table.

‘If we can dust ourselves off and build on the run we put together before Shrewsbury, there’s no reason why we can’t find ourselves in the mix at the end of the season.

‘You look at the fixtures and Wimbledon, Northampton and Bristol Rovers are all very winnable games.

‘They are all below us in the league.

‘There is no reason why we can’t pick up nine points there.

‘It’s about making sure we do the right things, get back to keeping those clean sheets and then building on that.’

Wimbledon have won two of their last eight league encounters.

However, they collected an impressive 2-1 victory over Bradford City on Saturday afternoon.

Regardless, Thompson feels the Blues possess the talent to make the top six come the season’s end.

He added: ‘Without a shadow of a doubt we have the quality to make the play-offs.

‘Look at our performance at Charlton – the team who are occupying the final play-off position.

‘Of all the teams there, bar Scunthorpe, there hasn’t been anyone you’ve felt we have been blown away by.

‘So there’s no reason why we can’t challenge for that top six.’