Ellis Harrison's surprise message over level Portsmouth will return at in Championship duel with Oxford United

Ellis Harrison believes Pompey are the sharpest they’ve been in his time at Fratton Park.

Sunday, 28th June 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th June 2020, 12:03 pm

The striker allayed fears the lengthy lay-off from football’s had a negative impact on his team’s fitness as they prepare to continue their bid to reach the Championship in the play-offs on Friday.

Harrison believes his team’s build-up to face Oxford United has showcased intensity he’s not seen since arriving from Ipswich last year.

And the 26-year-old believes that bodes well for how the levels they can reach with the stakes high on Friday evening.

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Harrison said: ‘We’re looking very good, if I’m honest.

‘Everyone’s come in, everyone’s looking fit and everyone’s looking determined.

‘Then again, I’m sure Oxford, Wycombe and Fleetwood will be feeling the same but we’ll be ready for it.

‘The tempo has been very sharp. To be honest, it’s been the best it’s been since I’ve been here.

Ellis Harrison and John Marquis. Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

‘We’ve had full weeks of training and we haven’t had to worry about a game on the Saturday.

‘Everyone’s been coming in, putting in 100 per cent and then going home and enjoying themselves.

‘It’s going to be worth it if we’re fit enough to go and beat Oxford.

‘It’s different in a season because on a Monday you could be doing recovery if you’re playing on a Tuesday with the other lads training.

‘It can be quite split up but now we’re all together training and you can see the quality where everyone’s together.’

Pompey continued their build-up to facing the U’s with an in-house game at Fratton Park on Friday night.

That’s followed two warm-ups against Championship opposition in Reading and Brentford over the past two weekends.

He added: ‘It’s been very tough. They are two very good Championship teams.

‘To play against them was good because we know Oxford will be good but I don’t think they’ll be as good as those teams.

‘It’s better for us to play against a Reading and a Brentford compared to lower league teams, because we know when Oxford come at us on Friday they won’t roll over and will give us a good game.

‘They were both pinging it around but you need those games to get fit.

‘The manager said he didn’t want to play against teams who didn’t test us - because Oxford will test us, and rightly so.

‘They were two good teams where we were challenged - but we challenged them.’

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