Kenny Jackett’s side need to show they are more than just set-piece specialists if they are to get their promotion charge back on track.
Jackett stated this week five of the past six goals the Blues have scored have arrived from dead-ball situations.
Across a longer period, 11 of the past 19 finishes have arrived via the same route.
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They failed to his the scoresheet against Coventry in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss, however.
In this week’s Pompey Talk, the sports writer stated the challenge is for Jackett’s side to prove that’s not the case.
Cross said: ‘Coventry are a robust, organised side and they negated Pompey’s threat from set-pieces.
‘Kenny Jackett is saying five of the past six goals have come that way and it’s 11 of their past 20 via free-kicks and corners.
‘Are teams now going to say if we stop that we stop Pompey?
‘The challenge is to now show that’s not the case, they aren’t one-trick ponies and they can threat in open play.
‘That’s what the task is going to be going into the Shrewsbury game and, indeed, the final 15 games of the season.
‘I think they have that threat in open play and they’ve show it this season. Of late, though, the balance has changed somewhat.
‘So that is what people will be asking - and that is what they have to prove.
‘To do that they will need to get back to a good quality of delivery in open play which was missing for a lot of Tuesday.’