Portsmouth can hopefully fly under the promotion radar now that 'not many people probably fancy us'

James Bolton reckons Pompey can fly under the radar into the promotion mix now they’re no longer fancied by many.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 7:00 am

Despite booking their place in tonight’s fourth-round draw with a 2-1 win at Highbury Stadium, Sunderland’s 3-1 over Lincoln meant they leapfrogged Kenny Jackett's men in the table.

Pompey endured a stuttering opening half of the league season, although they only sit a point outside the play-offs.

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Bolton has previously fallen at the final promotion hurdle at Shrewsbury two seasons ago when losing in the play-off final to Rotherham.

But the Shrews’ campaign petered out in the closing stages after sitting in the top two for the majority.

Bolton sees a contrasting situation at Fratton Park and believes it can be to the Blues’ advantage.

The defender, who bagged his maiden goal for the club against the Cod Army, said: ‘We haven't had a great start but at Shrewsbury we were flying and couldn't lose a game.

James Bolton. Picture: Paul Thompson

‘Towards the end, we petered out a little bit then Wigan and Blackburn were very strong towards the end of the season and obviously went up.

‘Hopefully we can have a strong finish and pick up points. Not many people probably fancy us now so hopefully we can go behind the radar now and pick up results.

‘Saturday will give us confidence because Fleetwood are a very good side. They've got good attackers and are solid as well.

‘It's a tough place to go and we are very pleased with the win.

‘We are capable of anything. Our team is very good and I just think maybe we just need a bit of fortune of something needs to click and we'll pick up a lot of wins home and away.’

Pompey’s away form has ultimately been their Achilles heel in League One.

They’ve won just twice on the road, while Saturday's Cup victory was just their fifth in all competitions this term.

Nevertheless, they handed promotion-rival Fleetwood only their second loss on their own patch.

Now Bolton knows the challenge is to find consistency on Pompey's travels.

He added: ‘Being consistent is all it is. Being consistent and being hard to beat, especially when we go away because we've been conceding goals a little bit too easily.

‘You want that feeling of being in the tunnel and knowing there's a very good chance of getting a result.

‘We've just got to be consistent. We haven't got to play great football but have got to get results.

‘Sometimes it's not about being pretty and having all nice, nice stuff but just getting results.’