Paul Downing on why fans should wait until Portsmouth have played 10 League One games before making judgement

Paul Downing. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Downing. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Paul Downing surveyed Pompey's start to the League One season and declared: Judge us after 10 games. 

After a 17-day absence, the Blues are back in third-tier action when Burton visit Fratton Park tonight.

Postponements mean Kenny Jackett’s side have played three fewer league matches than some of their rivals.

And having collected only five points from as many fixtures, Pompey sit 18th in the table, with goal difference keeping them above the relegation zone.

But Downing, who’s been a regular starter following his free transfer from Blackburn this summer, hasn’t bothered looking at the league standings because it’s yet to give a true reflection. 

And the centre-back believes the Blues’ performances have been better than the bare results suggest.

He said: ‘With having so many games called off, it’s been stop-start and I haven’t personally looked at the table.

‘For us, it’d be a bit unfair and we probably need to be judged over 10 games.

‘The next five games for us are important to try to pick some more points up.

‘We know we’ve probably dropped a couple and, based on our performances, we have been strong and haven’t got the results we wanted.

‘In terms of the stuttered start, we want to be near the top of the table but hopefully we won’t get it too far wrong.

‘We just need a few more fixtures really to then do our talking on the pitch.

‘The nature of the division this season is a strange one just because of the unfortunate financial troubles of some of the clubs.

‘When you throw in internationals, the league just doesn't take shape or give a true reflection on performances until we get further down the line.’

With upcoming league games against Burton, Wycombe and Bolton approaching – as well as a tasty south-coast derby with Southampton in the Carabao Cup – Downing believes Pompey can build the impetus they crucially need.

He added: ‘I don’t think there’s any need to panic.

‘Now we’re coming into a crucial run of games and hopefully we won’t have any more postponed and can gain some momentum.

‘It’s down to us now to put the performances in and turn the performances into results.

'I firmly believe we can do it and there is a lot of confidence in the dressing room and with the management staff.’