'Is there a concert?' - How Paul Merson and Tim Sherwood reacted on Sky Sports after Portsmouth sealed League One title and ended Derby and Bolton dreams

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The former Fratton favourites were part of Harry Redknapp's 2002-03 First Division title-winning team

Paul Merson quipped ‘Is there a concert tonight?’ as he witnessed the Fratton Park pitch become a sea of buoyant Pompey fans after the Blues clinched the League One title against Barnsley on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, former Pompey team-mate Tim Sherwood claimed John Mousinho’s side can replicate Ipswich and challenge for the Championship title straight away after booking their return to the second tier of English football.

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The duo - who were key players in Harry Redknapp’s 2002-03 promotion-winning side to the Premier League - were part of the Sky Sports punditry team that was keeping track of all the football action on Tuesday.

And as scenes from a jubilant Fratton Park were broadcast, after Conor Shaughnessy’s 89th-minute header handed the Blues victory over the Tykes and sealed the league, both promotion winners were asked for their thoughts.

Witnessing ecstatic fans run onto the pitch, Merson said it reminded him of the celebrations that followed his team’s famous victory against Rotherham at PO4, which delivered the old First Division title.

Paul Merson and Tim Sherwood in the Fratton Park dressing room after helping the Blues lift the 2002-03 old First Division titlePaul Merson and Tim Sherwood in the Fratton Park dressing room after helping the Blues lift the 2002-03 old First Division title
Paul Merson and Tim Sherwood in the Fratton Park dressing room after helping the Blues lift the 2002-03 old First Division title | National World

He said: ‘I’m so pleased for them (Pompey), especially for the fans as well. What the manager and the fans have done! It brings goosebumps when I see them all running on the pitch. I remember it like it was yesterday.

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‘When it happened (John Mousinho’s appointment), I thought: ‘Cor, This is a bit off-field’. But he’s been absolutely outstanding.

‘I think they’ve lost four games all season - I mean, that’s some doing in that league, where everybody beats everybody. Look at the scenes there, wow, is there a concert tonight?’

Sherwood featured 17 times for Pompey during the club’s 2002-03 title-winning season after arriving from Spurs in the January of that campaign. He claimed the Blues could follow Ipswich’s lead and be serious contenders for next season’s Championship title.

The Tractor Boys currently sit top of the table with three games remaining after winning promotion from League One last term.

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Sherwood said: ‘They can go back-to-back. You know, they’ve got the fan base to be able to do that.

‘If they get some finances, get some new players, ride the crest of the wave, they can do what Ipswich have done.

‘That fan base is incredible and the noise they make is unbelievable.’

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