THERE have been a procession of must-win Pompey encounters in recent months.
Bootham Crescent will tonight stage the latest as Paul Cook’s men strive to kickstart their promotion push back into action.
Certainly for Michael Doyle there can only be one outcome – then it’s fingers crossed on other results emerging from a full League Two schedule.
Victory for the Blues will relegate York from the Football League, ensuring they follow Dagenham & Redbridge through the trapdoor.
More importantly, three points are an absolute necessity for the visitors as they attempt to maintain momentum following that demoralising Plymouth defeat.
A Minstermen side without a win in 12 matches represents an achievable positive outcome for the Blues.
And Pompey’s skipper is aware only a triumph will suffice as they head into their final five matches of the campaign sat in sixth spot.
Doyle said: ‘We’re not done yet. We’ll keep going and see where the games take us.
‘Now we go to York and have to pick ourselves up and win. There can be no other outcome.
‘We have to put a performance on and more importantly just win the game.
‘Then who knows where we could be next weekend.
‘We need to try to get ourselves going and get a bit of momentum again.
‘It’s a big ask, requiring teams to slip up, but if they do we need to be there to take that chance,
‘We slipped up against Plymouth and I’m sure that gave a few teams a sigh of relief. Luckily we haven’t had much time to reflect on defeat, it’s then onto York and a big game.
‘It’s a big ask but who knows where we’ll be if we win our next two matches going into our game in hand against Wimbledon?
‘Six points adrift isn’t a lot, but the games are dwindling.’
As it stands, the Blues are seven points off second-placed Oxford United with a game in hand.
Yet with their four rivals having only four games remaining, time is running out for them to slip up to create an opening.
For so long against Plymouth, Cook’s men had their automatic promotion destiny in their own hands, thanks to Michael Smith’s first-half goal.
Instead they have slipped further behind and are the outsiders among the five challenging for the two remaining promotion spots.
Doyle added: ‘We have been so disappointed after Plymouth, I’m sure the fans felt let down.
‘But as players we have to pick ourselves up and roll up to York.
‘Us senior players have to lift the lads, we’ve got good senior pros like Danny Hollands and Ben to do that, it’s about being good pros.
‘We won’t go screaming and shouting. We’ll do the right things and prepare ourselves.
‘That game in hand a week today could take us into third place, you never know what’s around the corner
‘It’s good to have the games coming quickly – if you win!’