Chris Powell has urged his Southend troops to ‘push themselves’ to deliver a victory over Pompey.
Kenny Jackett’s side travel to the in-form Shrimpers tomorrow bidding for their second win of 2018.
In contrast, Powell is looking to record his fourth success in five games since taking charge of Southend, following the sacking of former manager Phil Brown.
Roots Hall is set to be a near sell-out, with the Fratton faithful snapping up almost all of their 2,000 ticket allocation.
The Shrimpers boss is expecting a lively atmosphere and believes it is the sort of games his outfit should relish.
He told the club’s website: ‘I’m asking them again to push themselves and each other to do our best to acquire three points against Portsmouth.
‘It’s a big game, it’s going to be near sell-out and these are the sort of games you want to be involved in.
‘They’re a big club and they’re rebuilding.
‘One thing they will never lose is that fervent support they have.
‘We’re going to hear them a lot but let’s hope our fans drown them out.’
Powell knows Jackett from his encounters against Millwall when previously in charge of Charlton.
He has respect for the Blues boss, having guided the Lions and Wolves to promotion.
But with Pompey harbouring play-off ambitions, Powell insists they must ‘earn the right’ to reach the Championship.
‘He’s done it with Millwall, he’s done it with Wolves,’ the Southend manager added.
‘He’s very astute, Kenny. He’s someone I know from my Charlton-Millwall days.
‘They’re a club that has gone through a lot, from ecstasy to turmoil really with regards to off-the-field problems and ownership, but they’ve got new ownership now.
‘They’ve stabilised the club and I suppose they’re trying to get back to where they were a few years back.
‘Like many of clubs before them, they find themselves in League One.
‘You have to earn the right to get yourself out of it to get yourself in the Championship and maybe to the holy grail of the Premier League.’