Danny Cowley unveils Portsmouth points target in battle to secure League One play-off spot

Danny Cowley believes six more points could clinch Pompey’s play-off presence.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:27 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:43 pm
Danny Cowley believes six more points could secure Pompey a play-off spot. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues head into the final three matches of their League One campaign positioned in seventh – one place short of the top six.

They are being kept out of the spots through an inferior goal difference to Oxford United and Blackpool, with all clubs locked on 68 points.

Pompey face Accrington in two of their remaining games, starting with tomorrow night’s trip to the Crown Ground (7pm).

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And Cowley is convinced a final total of 74 points will be enough as six clubs scrap it out for four available slots.

Pompey’s head coach told The News: ‘I just look at it and think seven points is enough. Maybe six.

‘Historically, 74 points has always been enough to get into the play-offs. That’s six more points.

‘Ultimately, I know you guys love talking about the outcomes – and I get that – but, for us, it’s about trying to put in another performance.

‘There was a lot to like about the display on Saturday (Bristol Rovers) and a lot to build on going into Tuesday against Accrington.

‘To get seven points you would need to be undefeated, maybe six points will be enough, but let’s just concentrate on performance.

‘I want us to finish the season with three really strong performances. We have all worked exceptionally hard to get here, all of our lives, and when you get to the business end of the season you want to be performing to your best.

‘I love that challenge – and we are looking forward to trying to find the right answers.’

During Pompey’s first season back at League One level in 2017-18, a total of 71 points was enough to secure play-off qualification.

Kenny Jackett’s men would finish eighth with 66 points during his maiden campaign at the helm.

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In 2018-19, the Blues came fourth with 88 points – with 73 required to reach the play-offs.

For last year’s curtailed season, with the table decided on points per game, 60 was sufficient, which Pompey achieved by coming fifth.

Now they are among six clubs – Sunderland, Lincoln, Oxford, Blackpool and Charlton – vying for places.

And Cowley is of the opinion that a minimum of six points are required from forthcoming fixtures with Accrington (twice) and AFC Wimbledon.

He added: ‘If we got to the play-offs, we would be playing a team in quick succession over two games, so I suppose Accrington gives us good practice.

‘It’s a great club, look at what they have achieved. Personally, I have lived it, I know how hard it is to get from non-league to the Football League, let alone League One.

‘It’s a brilliant club run fantastically well by a really intelligent chairman in Andy Holt.’

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