Former Fratton Park favourite makes Portsmouth Championship claim and pinpoints priority

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The FA Cup winner has highlighted where Pompey need to strengthen ahead of Championship return

Pompey FA Cup winner Pedro Mendes has spoken out about his former side’s chances of achieving automatic promotion back into Premier League by the end of the 2024/25 season, warning it will not be an easy task.

Mendes, who played for the Blues from 2006-2008, admitted he would love to see the Fratton Park club back in the top tier, but has admitted that back-to-back promotions are ‘like a drop in the ocean’.

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“I would love to see Portsmouth promoted back into the Premier League, they are a fantastic club and I really enjoyed my time there,; the Portuguese told The fans are crazy and the stadium goes crazy with them! After losing in the playoffs a couple of years in a row they finally won promotion back to the Championship, but it won’t be easy going back-to-back into the Premier League.”

45-year-old Mendes, who played for Rangers, Sporting CP and Vitoria Guimaraes following his Pompey career, first joined the Blues in January 2006 in a combined deal that included Sean Davis and Noe Pamarot. He soon became a crucial figure in the club’s fight to avoid relegation during the 2005/06 and won his first and only footballing honour in during his stint on the south coast, starting in the triumphant side that won the 2008 FA Cup.

In 2012, Mendes signed up to the Portsmouth Supporters Trust to join a group of over 5,000 other Pompey fans who united in their attempts to take ownership of the Football Club.

When questioned on what Pompey’s next steps should be following their League One success, the ex-midfielder said: “I think the next step is to stabilise themselves in the Championship and then start to think about getting back into the Premier League, staying in the Championship will still be a huge challenge.

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“Ipswich did so well but back-to-back promotions are like a drop in the ocean. The Championship is probably the most competitive league in Europe. It’s a big step from League One into the Championship so I think it’ll be important to stabilise themselves there first, the big difference is in the squads so they will need to strengthen.”

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