KENNY JACKETT believes Pompey are in a season-defining period as they ready themselves for Blackburn.
The Blues welcome the League One high-fliers to Fratton Park tonight in the midst of a busy schedule of five games in 15 days.
That period began with a late, late victory at MK Dons on Saturday as Jackett’s men picked up their first success of 2018.
With three points the gap to the play-offs, the Pompey boss feels his side are right in the shake-up to reach the top six.
Jackett said: ‘Season-defining is a good way to describe the games we’ve got coming up.
‘It’s five games in 15 days and 15 points up for grabs. There can be a big swing.
‘A lot can change for everyone and not just us.
‘We’re playing a lot of games and you can certainly pick up momentum and belief.
‘It’s nice to be in touch with the play-offs.
‘We’re eighth in the table and we would like to be in one of the seven positions above us. But we’re in a good position and it’s there for us.
‘It’s there for us on the basis of what we do – and that’s what you always want.
‘It’s tough for all of the clubs. If you look at all of the divisions things are changing slightly.
‘Plymouth and Gillingham have moved up the table and Doncaster have pulled themselves out of it slightly in the past two months.
‘They have outside chances of the play-offs. That’s the way they’re looking if their form continues.
‘Similarly, it gets a little bit tougher for the teams at the top. There’s a little bit of pressure on and everyone is competing and jostling for position.
‘If you do get defeats in this period you can’t dwell on it for too long because games come thick and fast.
‘It makes it an interesting division and, for us, we’ve been there or thereabouts.’
Jackett feels the sides hurtling up the table on winning runs shows what can be achieved.
Emulating them now has to be the Blues’ aim, with 15 games to go in an open play-off race.
Jackett added: ‘We’re capable of going on a run.
‘Virtually all of our games have been tight and the odd goal either way. Key incidents – a missed chance, save or decision – have been key.
‘It’s a similar pattern where we’ve been in the majority of games. That’s got us to where we are.
‘When we played Plymouth they were in the bottom two and down on their luck. It does show you what the potential is.
‘If you can get that type of run going you can get some confidence into the players.
‘You can go a long way down the table (for sides who can reach the play-offs).
‘As time goes on, though, you need more and more of an unbelievable run.
‘It’s the beauty of the system that fifth and six will be open to sides two-thirds of the way down the league this season.’