Pompey need to rid themselves of draw-specialists tag

Pompey's players cut frustrated figures following the 1-1 draw at Yeovil on Saturday. Only Oldham in the entire Football League have drawn more times than Paul Cook's side     Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's players cut frustrated figures following the 1-1 draw at Yeovil on Saturday. Only Oldham in the entire Football League have drawn more times than Paul Cook's side Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey draw too many games.

That’s been this season’s major concern among Blues fans, who have watched their side accumulate 13 in the league ahead of tonight’s trip to Barnet.

But just how big of an issue are drawn matches in Paul Cook’s side’s push for League Two promotion?

After all, every side shares the points every once in a while, don’t they?

Well, a look to the rest of the Football League shows only one side – Oldham in League One – have drawn more games (14) than Pompey.

The Blues’ 13-game tally puts them in a six-way tie for second place with five Championship sides - Cardiff, QPR, Leeds, Blackburn and Bolton.

Only Rovers have played the same number of games as Pompey (30,) with the other four all playing more.

Interestingly, of the seven sides to have drawn 13 or more games so far this season, Cook’s side occupy the highest league placing of seventh, with Oldham sitting 22nd in League Two.

That’s thanks in no small part to the Blues’ equally-impressive loss tally.

While Pompey may be draw specialists, they are not easily beaten.

Indeed, carrying on the statistical analysis of Cook’s side’s season so far, only the two top teams in the country currently boast fewer defeats.

Premier League leaders Leicester and second-placed Spurs both have three top-flight losses to their name this term.

The Blues’ tally of five league losses puts them in a share of third spot with Arsenal, Burnley, Brighton, Wigan and Northampton.

No team to have lost five games or fewer sits in a lower position than the Blues in their respective league tables.

In a nutshell, then, it is Pompey’s inability to turn draws into wins that has prevented them from being in League Two’s automatic promotion places.

Imagine if the Blues’ draws were split into wins and defeats?

Seven wins and six losses would give them eight more points than their current tally (49) and see them two points clear of third-placed Oxford (55) with a game in hand.

Six wins and seven losses (it’s only fair to do this both ways) would have given them five more points and see them behind the U’s by one point with a game in hand.

The Blues’ 12 wins this term is the joint-lowest, alongside 12th-placed Carlisle, in League Two’s top half, with the Cumbrians having a game in hand on Cook’s side.

And if Pompey are to have any chance of challenging for an automatic promotion spot, they need to add to this tally, with tonight’s trip to 18th-placed Barnet as good an opportunity as any.

The last time the Blues were promoted in 2002-03, Harry Redknapp’s side won the Championship with 29 wins, 11 draws and six defeats, second-placed Leicester had 26 wins, 14 draws and six defeats,

Wolves clinched a Premier League place through the play-offs having ended the season with 20 wins, 16 draws and 10 defeats.