Oli Hawkins: Portsmouth victory over Rochdale could have been more emphatic 

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Oli Hawkins praised Pompey's showing as they eased to a 4-1 triumph over struggling Rochdale but admitted: It could have been more.

The fourth-placed Blues moved level on points with Sunderland, in third, courtesy of a fifth successive League One victory.

Oli Hawkins, right, and Tom Naylor toast Pompey's win. Picture: Joe Pepler

Oli Hawkins, right, and Tom Naylor toast Pompey's win. Picture: Joe Pepler

Hawkins put Pompey on the way to victory with his clever glancing header to break the deadlock on 21 minutes.

Brett Pitman struck from the spot in first-half stoppage-time to double the Blues' lead before Aaron Wilbraham pulled one back for Dale on 54 minutes.

However, efforts in the final half-hour from substitute Gareth Evans and Jamal Lowe wrapped up all three points for Kenny Jackett's troops.

Hawkins believes the win stands Pompey in good stead as they sit two points behind second-placed Barnsley with five games to play.  

But the striker felt their latest success could have been by a more convincing margin.

He said: 'It was a very good win.

‘We were on the back of a hard-fought win at Wycombe.

‘It was good to be back at Fratton Park after such a long period of time and to get a good win.

'They scored to make it 2-1 which made it interesting.

‘But we showed good character and were able to go on and get two more goals.

‘It could have been more.

‘It was a strong performance and it puts us in good stead for the final five games.’