Doncaster are destined for automatic promotion.
That is the assessment of Paul Cook ahead of tonight’s televised trip to the Keepmoat Stadium.
Darren Ferguson’s side lead League Two by one point amid a tightly-packed top-three which also contains Plymouth and Carlisle.
The trio have dominated the leading promotion spots during the past few months.
Pompey lie four points adrift and continue to threaten suitability for forcing their way into the stranglehold.
Victory at Doncaster tonight (7.45pm) would represent a massive boost for Cook’s men.
Yet they must pull off a positive result against an opposition he believes are there to stay in the promotion positions.
Cook said: ‘I think Doncaster will be promoted.
‘Out of the top three teams, without doubt Doncaster are the ones who will definitely go up.
‘I genuinely believe the strength of the league is held within the top eight or nine clubs – there are plenty of those clubs which can catch up.
‘But Doncaster are doing great, I think they will be very hard to stop – while I do think Plymouth and Carlisle are there to be caught.
‘They are in possession, without doubt – and I am not trying to play mind games here.
‘If they win their games they will be up.
‘Our challenge is to keep going and earning an amount of points which will make it very hard for others to prevent us making it.’
According to Pompey’s manager, the visitors head into tonight’s match with no fresh injury problems.
Rovers have bounced back impressively from last season’s relegation from League One and Cook believes they deserve credit for sticking by their boss.
He added: ‘Darren Ferguson is a good manager. In the modern-day game everyone is getting sacked, just look at John Sheridan and Justin Edinburgh in the last week.
‘Great credit to Doncaster for doing that, great credit to them for being top of the league – and I think they will be promoted.’