‘Welcomed back into Championship with open arms’: Southampton favourite’s message to Portsmouth as Sky Sports EFL expert acknowledges success

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Having a club with Pompey’s fanbase back in the Championship is good news for the division.

And the exultant title-winning scenes of last week was compelling evidence of the stature of the Blues in the English game.

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That’s the view of Sky Sports’ EFL figurehead, David Prutton, who believes the League One champion’s return to the second tier after a 12-year absence is positive news for the game.

The former Southampton midfielder gave huge credit to John Mousinho, for delivering title glory and promotion at the seventh time of asking.

And Prutton is looking forward to seeing an ‘avid’ support returning to the Championship.

He told Sky Sports News: ‘Kudos and congratulations to Pompey under John Mousinho. It’s phenomenal what he’s done.

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‘The scenes down at Fratton Park as they clinched promotion - it’s a big football club, a big football club with an avid fanbase. We welcome them back into the Championship with open arms.’

The last round of League One games has issues to resolve at both ends of the table this weekend.

Cheltenham, Cambridge and Burton are scrapping it out to survive, with one of the three set to drop into League Two. Meanwhile, it’s two from four for the remaining play-off spots with Lincoln, Blackpool, Oxford and Barnsley the sides in contention.

Derby and Bolton will vie for the other automatic promotion spot, with the Rams in the box seat as they face condemned Carlisle United at Pride Park. They need to lose with Bolton winning at Peterborough, plus a swing in goal difference to turn the tide in favour of Ian Evatt’s men.

Prutton added: ‘I do think Derby do it.

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‘For Bolton to be promoted they would need to win, Derby lose and a four-goal swing. Derby are playing Carlisle and I think they do it.

‘Paul Warne, the job he’s done off the back of last season, to go again against a Pompey side who’ve been very good and keep a Bolton side under Ian Evatt at bay. They themselves are capable of some real destruction in League One. It’s been a wonderful job and I think they go up in second spot.’

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