Portsmouth boss' message as side prepare to embark on testing run against likes of Rotherham United, Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers
Danny Cowley warned Pompey’s technical proficiency is worthless unless it’s married with fighting qualities ahead of a testing run.
And the Blues boss believes his side’s humbling of Sunderland will quickly be forgotten unless it’s built on with a consistent run of success.
Cowley has reaffirmed his determination to build on last weekend’s 4-0 success over the Black Cats, which knocked Lee Johnson’s men off top spot.
In terms of league commitments, Pompey are about to enter a period of games which is likely to reveal much about their credentials when it comes to pushing for promotion this season.
Next weekend’s trip to fourth-placed Rotherham is followed by Paul Cook’s big-spending Ipswich Town coming to Fratton Park.
Then it’s the long trek to Accrington, where the Blues have won once in their past seven visits, before clashes with Bolton and Wycombe either side of the FA Cup first round.
It’s the kind of spell which will tell Pompey plenty about where their season is headed, as they sit in range of the play-offs despite shaky form before last weekend.
Cowley knows the challenge is marry the qualities they’ve sometimes shown but have been missing on other occasions, consistently.
He said: ‘Our quality in the final third was really good against Sunderland.
‘I thought our control in possession, but also out of possession we had control and that was important. We had control of the game.
‘We know we have a group who are technically well equipped.
‘But you also have to bring those fighting qualities.
‘We need to try to get a balance of both: the technical with the fight.
‘I thought we had that against Sunderland, but one performance doesn’t make a good team: we have to back that up consistently.
‘We have to do it consistently, do it every week and be relentless.’
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