Pompey fans to go the extra mile next season

Kenny Jackett. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Michael Smith, left, in action for Bury this season Picture: Sharon Lucey

‘Terrific professional’ Smith earns Pompey boss praise

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If you’re planning on following Pompey on the road next season – you might want to get your car serviced beforehand.

Come August, the Blues will be competing in League One for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign.

But it means more miles on the road and time spent away from the south coast.

Kenny Jackett’s men will clock up a total of 8756 miles travelling to away games and back during the 2017-18 season – 548 miles more than last term.

It will be a minor sacrifice to watch Pompey in the third tier, although the Fratton faithful can expect a lot of motorway service station stop-offs and uncomfortable sleeps against car and coach windows.

There might not be any mammoth trips to Carlisle or Hartlepool next term, but there are still 11 journeys to the north of the country.

The Blues will visit the north west seven times in total.

The longest of them all will be to Fleetwood, which is a 574-mile trip from Fratton Park and back.

Just 10 miles shorter is Blackpool. Last season, the 564-mile round trip was a midweek game at Bloomfield Road which ended in a 3-1 defeat.

No doubt the majority of Pompey fans wanted Exeter to win the League Two play-off final!

The two most highly-anticipated games of the 2017-18 season are against Wigan.

Paul Cook can expect a hostile reception when he returns to Fratton Park.

And the former Blues boss is also likely to get a similar greeting at the DW Stadium when Pompey visit.

It’s a 494-mile round trip to Wigan, but that isn’t going to put off the Fratton faithful going to Cook’s new surroundings and making their voices heard.

Other north-west adventures include journeys to Blackburn (564m round trip), Bury (510), Oldham (508) and Rochdale (522).

There are also three visits to Yorkshire. Doncaster (466) is again on the agenda, as well as Bradford (536) and a trip to Jackett’s former side Rotherham (454).

There will be a 512-mile round trip to Scunthorpe, too.

Blues fans know the route to Plymouth’s Home Park like the back of their hands these days after six visits over the past five seasons – and just to remind you, it is 344-miles there and back.

Things aren’t all bad, however, and there will be times when Pompey supporters will be back in time for, hopefully, a few celebratory drinks!

AFC Wimbledon is a mere 63 miles away (126 round trip) and represents the shortest distance to travel.

Charlton and the Blues were fighting it out in the Premier League not that long ago.

Going to the Valley and back is 206 miles.

Michael Appleton isn’t the most popular with the Fratton faithful after he left PO4 for Blackpool – just days after saying he was going nowhere.

He’s now in charge of Oxford United, with a trip to the Kassam Stadium totalling 170 miles there and back.

Other League One away days that won’t prove too gruelling are Gillingham (216m round trip), MK Dons (230) and Southend (238).

n Check out portsmouth.co.uk next Wednesday for Pompey’s 2017-18 League One fixtures