Portsmouth v Southampton: It'll be intense, it may be nasty - but we must not be fearful

The last Pompey-Southampton game at Fratton, eight seasons ago / Picture: Sarah Standing
The last Pompey-Southampton game at Fratton, eight seasons ago / Picture: Sarah Standing
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I may be 49 years of age but occasionally a sporting occasion comes along that I simply cannot wait to get to and enjoy.

Tuesday night’s League Cup second round tie at Fratton Park is one such example, made all the more special by the fact we’ve not played that lot from up the road for eight seasons.

I’m not one of these fans who reacted to the draw a month ago by saying they feared we’d get walloped. I’m having none of that.

You cannot go into a game against them fearing them. Especially one at Fratton.

Two divisions above us in the league ladders they may be, but I can’t see that they much reason to come to PO4 and think they can stroll to a win just because they’re in the Premier League.

It will be intense, it will probably border on being nasty at times, and if it does that should favour us. If we don’t end the night with at least four yellow cards I’ll be a little disappointed.

My own south-coast derby record is pretty good. This will be the 11th one I’ve seen in the flesh and of the first 10, we’ve won four, drawn two and lost four. Three of those four Blues victories have come in the past four I’ve seen – and two of them finished 4-1.

Neither team is going into the game in great form. Both PFC and SFC have had what you might call mediocre starts to the season. But for Pompey, a win on Tuesday could spark 2019-20 into life.

To many, this game alone already means more than all the league fixtures witnessed so far put together. If we see a home win, many of Kenny Jackett’s current critics might see him in a new light. Some probably won't.

It’s a night for the Tom Naylors, Ronan Curtises and Gareth Evanses in the team to come to the fore and show from, the first minute, they know what this rivalry means to the fans. You never know, one may just become the new David Norris.

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