Thompson: Momentum guiding Pompey to play-offs

Nathan Thompson in action at Rochdale. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/
Nathan Thompson in action at Rochdale. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/
Matt Done nets an own goal for Rochdale to earn Pompey a 3-3 draw at Spotland. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/

Jackett demands Pompey up tempo for Plymouth showdown

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Pompey are flexing the momentum to drive themselves into the play-off positions.

That is the verdict of Nathan Thompson following a last-gasp point at Rochdale on Saturday.

For us to continue to chip away and create something when the game was probably dead in their eyes is a massive, massive point

Nathan Thompson

The Blues were well below par and indebted to Matt Done’s stoppage-time own goal to settle the Spotland contest for a 3-3 draw.

It ensures Kenny Jackett’s side have won four and drawn one of their past five matches to maintain a late surge towards the top six.

With five games remaining, Pompey are one point off fifth-placed Plymouth and head to that very side on Saturday.

Regardless of their poor display at struggling Rochdale, the Blues are well in the mix jostling for a play-off spot.

And it is sustained late-season form Thompson believes can reap the rewards.

He said: ‘It keeps that run going with us unbeaten in five – and maintains that little bit of momentum going into the Plymouth game.

‘We are looking above us and seeing there’s only one point between us and fifth place, so there is a real opportunity.

‘With the likes of Plymouth, Charlton and Peterborough still to play, it makes those last five games really exciting.

‘This time of the year you want to see what’s going on around you and you look at people dropping points – it gives that little bit of incentive.

‘We recently had a meeting with the gaffer, who told us he was at Millwall when they won the last seven games and managed to get a play-off run together.

‘We have five matches to go and a huge amount to play for. Something like a point at Rochdale can give us some momentum.

‘You often see teams going into the play-offs with momentum causing real upsets – you only have to look at Barnsley a couple of seasons ago. There’s a lot to look forward to, that’s for be sure.

‘To go behind three times and come back three times takes real character. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a really good point.’

Brett Pitman netted twice as Pompey three times battled from behind to level. And Thompson admitted the Blues found it difficult against Keith Hill’s relegation-threatened side.

He added: ‘It was tough, you expect that when you go to a place like that. It’s never easy, you see the points they have taken off the likes of Shrewsbury recently.

‘They can be a good side, they are effective at what they do. It may not be pretty at times, but they get numbers into the box, they get it forward and they get the second balls.

‘But the boys stuck at it until the final whistle and got a point, which could be a massive point.

‘There have not been many times this season where we’ve managed to grind it out when we probably haven’t deserved to and that shows the maturity and the experience which is developing in this team.

‘With Rochdale, you are talking about a side fighting for their lives, they are throwing everything forward, they are in the relegation zone, they need the three points.

‘So for us to continue to chip away and create something when the game was probably dead in their eyes is a massive, massive point.’