Paul Downing: Doncaster play-off loss giving me same extra motivation as new Portsmouth team-mates

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Paul Downing will use his own League One play-off disappointment to help fire Pompey to promotion next season. 

The centre-back signed a three-year deal at Fratton Park on Friday following his release from Blackburn Rovers. 

The Blues fell to League One semi-final heartbreak against Sunderland, confining them to another campaign in the third tier.

Downing, meanwhile, was part of the Doncaster side defeated by Charlton – who went on to win the final at Wembley – in the other tie.

It means the 27-year-old will report for pre-season on Thursday having experienced the same pain as his new Pompey team-mates.

SEE ALSO: WHY PAUL DOWNING TURNED DOWN DONCASTER FOR POMPEY

And he’s certain it’ll give himself and the rest of Kenny Jackett’s troops extra motivation heading into next term.

Downing said: ‘It is not a nice feeling losing a play-off semi-final.

‘I can remember the feeling and it is not a nice one.

‘I think everyone will come back to pre-season with that extra motivation – I know I definitely will.

‘We can learn what we did wrong and what experiences we can draw on to use to go one step further and make sure we’re in those automatic-promotion places and not in the play-offs.’

Downing arrives at Fratton Park already boasting one League One promotion. 

The defender made 33 appearances when Blackburn clinched second spot in the division in 2017.

He has designs on adding another to his C.V at PO4. 

And he feels Pompey improving their goals-against record will be a key factor if they’re to make a return to the Championship.

‘You need consistency to be promoted,’ Downing added. 

‘When I spoke to the manager, potentially last season he said they conceded a few too many goals.

‘My job obviously is to make sure that we keep clean sheets and we’re solid at the back.

‘If we can do that then it gives you a good foundation.

‘If you want to be at the top end of the division, you’ve got to have a low goals-against column.

‘Hopefully I’ll be doing my job by stopping teams scoring and keeping clean sheets.’