DANNY ROSE believes Doncaster felt uncatchable before being pipped to the title.
And the midfielder has told of the pressure Pompey felt to deliver their championship-winning run.
The Blues’ final-day glory unfolded in dramatic style as they went to the League Two summit for the first time this season.
A look at the gap between Paul Cook’s men and the long-term leaders underlines just how unlikely that success was.
After Pompey lost to Wycombe at the start of February, Donny opened up a 17-point gap over them.
That chasm was still 13 points with eight games left at the end of March.
And with just four games to go there was still 10 points between the sides, before the wheels came off for Darren Ferguson’s men.
It was a run of 10 wins and a draw from 12 which did it for Rose’s team.
The 29-year-old explained Pompey knew what they had to do as Donny lost their way.
Rose said: ‘We had to get on that run. We knew that.
‘If you do it, you will shoot up the league. People say that.
‘I did it at Northampton and all of a sudden we were uncatchable.
‘I think people felt Doncaster were uncatchable at some point.
‘Maybe they did themselves. Clearly they did, in fact, because they took their foot off the gas.
‘Fair play to them, because they deserve all the plaudits they picked up.
‘But it’s some run we went on from the start of March.
‘We hit the form at the right time when it matters.’
Rose is certain much of Pompey’s success is down to the fact there was no let-up after promotion was secured at Notts County.
He credited the coaching staff for stressing the importance of keeping their focus.
He said: ‘Our staff have told us to never take our foot off the gas – and we’ve got our reward.
‘It’s nothing short of incredible.’
- JORDAN CROSS