Mark Catlin pinpoints likely start for Portsmouth's play-off semi-final with Oxford

Mark Catlin anticipates Pompey’s play-off campaign will start at the end of this month.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 5:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 5:15 pm
Sean Raggett celebrates his goal with Ronan Curtis after scoring in the March 2-2 draw with Fleetwood - Pompey's last match. Picture: Barry Zee

The Blues’ semi-final presence has been confirmed following today’s Football League EGM, involving all 71 member clubs.

The outcome was the curtailing of League One’s 2019-20 season, with Coventry and Rotherham heading into the Championship.

The final promotion spot will be decided by a traditional four-team play-off format.

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League Two’s semi-final first legs will take place on Thursday, June 18, with a Wembley play-off final conclusion on Monday, June 29.

However, Catlin believes Pompey’s first leg against Oxford United will be held towards June’s end.

The Blues’ chief executive told The News: ‘It is a very quick turnaround.

‘I don’t have any dates yet, but, considering the period that League Two have been back training, I think we are probably looking somewhere at the end of June or early July for our first game.

‘We will be given ample time to get up to full match fitness.

‘Then I would assume starting the play-off semi-final sometime at the end of June/early July.’

Wycombe and Fleetwood will meet in the other League One play-off fixture.

Pompey’s last match was a 2-2 draw against Fleetwood at Fratton Park on March 10 – almost three months ago.

Following today’s announcement, it will give the Blues around three weeks to hone their fitness before the opening encounter with Oxford.

Kenny Jackett intends to arrange a number of friendlies before that first meeting, operating with a reduced pre-season schedule.

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