Portsmouth boss pinpoints unlikely key factor behind being on brink of reaching Championship

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It’s been a Championship charge undertaken despite a crippling injury list, the likes of which we haven't seen at Pompey before.

And when it comes to fitness frustration, there’s few people who know about more the subject than Tom Lowery.

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Yet, the returning midfielder has been pinpointed as a key factor in the promotion push, which now potentially has the Blues one win away from reaching the second tier.

That’s despite Lowery making just eight appearances this season, in a campaign riddled by knee and hamstring issues.

Mousinho feels it was the 26-year-old’s presence at a difficult moment after the Christmas period, which allowed Pompey to emerge from a challenging time and embark on the 15-game unbeaten sequence, which has them on the brink of promotion as they go to Bolton.

The Blues were faltering during a run of one win in seven in all competitions, with Lowery steadying the ship at the lowest point with his team 3-0 down at half-time against Leyton Orient in January.

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That was the schemer’s return after five months out following knee surgery, when taken off at half-time of the opening day draw with Bristol Rovers.

Lowery then started five of the next six games, as he helped Pompey turn the corner before suffering a hamstring issue against Cambridge in February.

Mousinho said: ‘Tom’s obviously had a disappointing season in terms of injuries but he came back at a really important time for us.

‘He actually impacted the side really positively.

‘If you look, Tom’s first game back was Fleetwood away. His first game off the bench was Orient where he played 45 and then it was Fleetwood.

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‘Then he played against Port Vale and came on at Oxford (in the 34th minute). He had a really, really positive impact in those games, up until he got injured.

‘Thankfully by that time we had Owen Moxon in the building and Myles able to come in as a six. We’ve also brought Lee Evans in since.

‘So Tom’s impact this year, even though he’s been injured, has been really, really important for us.’

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