‘Like a home game’: Portsmouth boss’ message to faithful as 4,000 march on Peterborough United and promotion heat rises

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John Mousinho believes Pompey’s 4,000-strong marching army can turn the promotion showdown with Peterborough into a home game.

And the Blues boss has outlined his confidence his players can continue handling the pressure of a Championship charge, as the stakes rise at London Road.

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Pompey take on Darren Ferguson’s men tomorrow in a huge weekend at the top of League One, with Bolton also going to Derby.

It’s a stern test for Mousinho’s men, underlined by the factor the bookies have the Posh as clear favourites to win the game.

But the Pompey head coach believes the travelling faithful are a weapon in his side’s arsenal, which can aid them against Peterborough’s array of attacking talent.

Mousinho said: ‘It’s going to be brilliant.

‘The Peterborough game last year was my third game in charge and we took a huge amount to that game.

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‘We can generate a really good atmosphere inside London Road and I think it’s going to be brilliant, a brilliant day and a really good game of football between two teams vying at the top.

‘It makes a huge amount of difference, because you have a huge amount of support at an away ground and at times it feels like a home game - especially when you take that amount and it can really turn things on its head.

‘We’ve done that a couple of times this year, when it seems like from Portsmouth’s point of view you can take over the ground.

‘For a head coach to have that kind of backing and the players to see that is amazing.’

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Mousinho has made no attempt to dodge the fact the Peterborough clash will see the pressure ramped up on both sides, at a crucial moment in the campaign with eight games remaining for his men.

The 37-year-old feels his players have dealt with those conditions impressively all season - and wants them to continue embracing those conditions.

Mousinho added: ‘It applies for all the games now for the rest of the season.

‘Every game now probably takes on an added importance because of the state of play in the league and where we are in the season, and particularly because of some of the sides we’re playing are in and around us in the league. That’s definitely a case in point on Saturday

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‘We don’t want to get carried away and overplay what is just another game, but I also think it can be healthy to have a bit of excitement around what it means to go there and play in these games at this time in the season.

‘Playing every game for Portsmouth, the pressure is massive. It’s something I’ve spoken about and it’s been there all season. 

‘It’s a good thing - we want the pressure to be massive. We don’t want to be floating around and not trying to achieve anything - that’s what we want the players to embrace.’