Mark Catlin assesses Portsmouth's start to the season and gives verdict on forthcoming fixtures

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin
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Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin admitted the Blues’ start to the 2019-20 season had fallen below expectations.

Yet he remained confident that Kenny Jackett’s side had already turned the corner and that a good run was in the offing.

The Blues head into today’s Fratton Park fixture against Gillingham sitting 16th in the table with 12 points from nine games played.

They remain 11 points behind league leaders Ipswich and seven off the play-off places – but have been boosted by consecutive league wins against Bolton and Doncaster Rovers, plus the midweek penalty shoot-out win against Oxford in the EFL Trophy.

Those League One victories have taken some of the heat of Jackett, who came in for stick from a section of fans during last month’s defeat against Wycombe at Adams Park.

They also improved the Blues’ overall record in the third tier, with the side posting stats of three wins, three draws and three defeats going into today’s fixture against the Gills.

Pompey, of course, have games in hand on most of the teams currently above them in the table.

They’ve also welcomed backed from injury the likes of Marcus Harness, Lee Brown and James Bolton in recent games, presenting Jackett with the tools needed to help turn the season around.

And Catlin, speaking in his latest Q&A with the club, believes there’s reasons to be optimistic as the Blues bid to climb the table and push for promotion.

Catlin said: 'I think, as we know, our start to the season hasn't been as good as what we would have wanted.

'I mean, it's not horrendous - three, three and three - it's a good platform, but we wanted to be a few more points more in advance of where we are at the moment.

'But we have won our last two games, we obviously have players coming back from injury that are starting to bed back in now that we hoped would be available earlier on in the season.

'Kenny's gradually finding that formula with the squad that we have got and hopefully now we're at a turning point and things can only get better.

'There's a run of games coming up during the second half of October in to November, I look at the fixtures now and I think we can get on a good run.’