Why Portsmouth skipper Tom Naylor hasn't been that impressed by current League One promotion challengers

Tom Naylor reckons League One promotion remains wide open after not being overly impressed by the teams currently challenging at the top of the table

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 8:00 am

And the skipper would rather be in Pompey’s current position than being sat at the summit for a significant period like last season.

Kenny Jackett’s men are 15th in League One having amassed 18 points from 14 matches.

It's been an underwhelming start to the campaign for the Blues, having firmly had designs on automatic promotion before a ball was kicked.

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Wycombe currently set the pace on 33 points, while Ipswich are second on 30 points. Peterborough, Oxford, Fleetwood and Coventry occupy the play-off places.

But Naylor pinpointed no side is running away with division at present and things can quickly change.

The midfielder said: ‘I don’t think there are many (teams) that have impressed me and the league is still there.

‘I don’t think anyone is running away with the league. Ipswich were obviously top and flying but they lost two on the bounce.

Pompey skipper Tom Naylor. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘It’s anyone’s league at the minute and we want to challenge the teams are the top and be promoted like everyone else does.

‘That is our aim and it’s nothing less. We've got Southend, a break for the FA Cup (against Harrogate) then we go again ahead against Fleetwood.

‘We just need to pick up points, be positive and go from there.

‘We didn’t play the best at Doncaster but we went there and got three points.

‘Since then, we have changed and played so much better than we did at the start of the season.

‘That is a positive to take forward with so many games to go.’

Pompey were top of the table for three-and-a-half months last term.

However, a run of seven games without a victory throughout January and February saw the Blues drop out of the top two and their campaign ended with play-off semi-final defeat to Sunderland.

But Naylor's more comfortable with Pompey’s current position.

The ex-Burton man added: ‘Last season, we were flying and had a bad spell in January.

‘I would rather do it this way around where we’re coming into it, hopefully can step up and then with 10 games to go you never know where we are.

‘Plenty of times last season we had to stay on the ball. Being top, there’s more pressure than being mid-table or in the play-offs because everyone wants to catch you.

‘We went off the boil a little bit in January, which was frustrating because we still had a massive chance with three games to go.

‘It was seven games without a win and couldn’t get anything right on the pitch after the start we’d had.

‘Even the things that were right, it felt like nothing was falling for us but we got back on a run and just fell short.’