Max Power: Portsmouth are owed one by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light
Max Power believes Sunderland owe Portsmouth one as the two League One heavyweights prepare to go head-to-head again on Saturday.
So much rests on the Stadium of Light encounter, with both teams looking to make the most of their game in hand on Barnsley.
The Tykes currently sit second in the table on 88 points from their 44 matches played.
The Blues are third on 86 points from 43 matches, while the Black Cats’ record of 84 points from 43 games played sees them sit fourth.
Pompey, who have their destiny in their own hands, need a win if they are to stand a chance of overhauling Barnsley’s two-point advantage.
Sunderland, on the other hand, require maximum points just to keep their slim automatic promotion hopes alive.
Jack Ross’ side have suffered major setbacks in recent weeks, with the 5-4 defeat at home to Coventry and draws against Burton and Peterborough seeing them lose ground on their rivals.
They also go into Saturday’s game with Kenny Jackett’s side having the better of them twice already this term – a 3-1 Fratton Park victory in December and last month’s Checkatrade Trophy final success at Wembley.
For Power, that’s enough motivation for the visit of Pompey.
But the midfielder knows even that might not be enough in the race for the Championship.
Talking to Sunderland’s official website, Power said: ‘We all feel as if we owe Portsmouth one but at this stage of the season we can’t get too down about it.
‘We’ve just got to recover now and win three games, simple as that.
‘We’ve got three games left, one of those games is against Portsmouth so we can go back above them.
‘Then it’s unfortunately us depending on Barnsley slipping up.
‘We can’t afford to drop any points now. We couldn’t really afford to drop any on Monday but we did. It’s advantage Barnsley at this point.’
Power added that with Saturday’s game being their last Stadium of Light outing of the regular League One season, he and is team-mates were keen to go out on a high note.
He said: ‘The Portsmouth game is the last home game of the season so we want to put on a performance for the home fans.
‘Let’s just go and win three games and see where it takes us.’