Eric Eisner: Portsmouth must move on from Wembley – and win automatic promotion

Eric Eisner toasted the maiden trophy of the Tornante era – and set his sights on automatic promotion accompanying the feat.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 10:32 am

The Pompey director was present at Wembley on Sunday to savour the Blues’ penalty shoot-out triumph over Sunderland.

The Checkatrade Trophy represents the first piece of silverware for the ownership installed at Fratton Park in August 2017.

Yet Eisner is adamant post-Wembley celebrations must now be shelved until the season’s end.

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Eric Eisner holds aloft the Checkatrade Trophy Picture: Joe Pepler
Eric Eisner holds aloft the Checkatrade Trophy Picture: Joe Pepler

Instead he has urged the Blues to focus entirely on Saturday’s trip to struggling Wycombe.

With seven League One matches remaining, the countdown is on to force their way into second spot.

Eisner told The News: ‘To have an accomplishment under the belt is a great thing. Wembley was a special day.

‘But you start looking back at the season when you’re done, right now we have to focus on Saturday.

‘Monday was a day off, then you are back on it and thinking Saturday.

‘Everybody celebrated winning the Checkatrade Trophy, you will always look back on it and celebrate it forever, which is great.

‘However, I’m now thinking about Saturday.

‘Enjoy the moment, which they did in the Wembley changing room, I saw them. Then it’s one night’s sleep, dust yourself off and get ready for Saturday’s game.

‘If you are going for that number-two spot we have to win them all, perhaps a few draws here and there.

‘I have faith in Kenny that we are going to line-up on Saturday and be ready for that match.

‘By that time, the cup final will have been put behind us – then celebrate as a whole after the season.’

Wycombe are without victory in 10 matches, losing seven of them.

It’s a dreadful period for Gareth Ainsworth’s men, yielding one point from a possible 24 in recent weeks.

In terms of Pompey’s promotion aspirations, it represents another must-win occasion.

With a game in hand and five points off second-placed Barnsley, time is running out to close the gap.

Eisner added: ‘I think we can get it.

‘The team must go on a good run and I think they are ready, they’re booming with confidence.

‘I cannot see how they can’t line up against any other team in League One and not think they can beat them.

‘We’ve just been to Wembley and beaten Sunderland, we’ve won three in a row in the league, so there are a lot of positives.

‘There is a home stretch, a real race, and obviously you want to go for the number-two spot, but third is very important as well. It gives you better match ups in the play-offs.

‘We can get second, though. It needs to be done every game at a time. Every game is huge.’