Portsmouth talisman Brett Pitman seeking another improbable promotion after Bournemouth legacy
Talismanic Brett Pitman is revelling in the pressure as he seeks to register a second remarkable League One promotion.
The skipper’s restoration to Kenny Jackett’s starting XI has coincided with eight-straight victories, of which seven have arrived in the league.
Handed number 10 responsibilities, Pitman’s cultured input also consists of six goals, including Bank Holiday Monday’s late winner over Coventry.
It’s familiar territory for the attacker, who spearheaded Bournemouth’s stunning promotion charge in the 2012-13 campaign.
Positioned seventh in League One following five-consecutive defeats, Eddie Howe’s side embarked on an eight-match winning streak from March 2013.
Pitman scored in every game, tallying nine over that period, as the Cherries earned promotion with a fixture to spare.
Now, six years on, he is attempting to repeat that staggering feat.
He said: At Bournemouth, when we went up from League One we won eight in a row – then drew the final game when we already had promotion.
‘It’s one of those when you just ride the wave and enjoy it.
‘Some people might feel pressure, I don’t really feel the pressure, this is what you want to be, you don’t want to be mid-table with nothing to play for. You want to enjoy this time.
‘It’s hard to compare the Bournemouth team to our side, we were totally different, but the one thing in similarity is the hard work.
‘We were often the hardest-working team at Bournemouth – and I would say there aren't many teams that work harder than us in this league.
‘This season, we have gone into every game expecting and wanting to win, if we're not going to win every game.
‘Of course next week is a massive game, we are under no illusions, we know that, but it’s a massive game for Sunderland too.
‘At this stage of the season, if you have something to play for then they are all big games, whoever you play.
‘Sunderland’s going to be a tough game, but it’s in our own hands now.’
Bournemouth’s winning run during that campaign ended with a goalless draw at Tranmere on the final day.
That allowed Doncaster to inch ahead and claim the League One title, with the Cherries finishing second.
Impressively, eight of Howe’s side would also represent them in the Premier League, including Charlie Daniels, Steve Cook, Simon Francis, Harry Arter, Mark Pugh and Matt Ritchie.
Pitman added: ‘It’s hard to single out people in this (Pompey) team because I don’t think we have any stand-out players, I don’t think we have any stars.
‘We’ve obviously got good players and players who can and will play at a higher level, but our biggest strength is our togetherness.
‘As a group, there is no-one that stands out.’