What the remainder of the season means to Portsmouth as Mousinho era takes shape

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John Mousinho insisted the rest of the season will be key in shaping his tenure as Pompey’s campaign finds impetus once again.

The Blues boss saw his side serve up their biggest league success this term, as Cheltenham Town were handed a 4-0 hiding at Fratton Park.

The margin of victory could easily have been much greater, as Mousinho’s side carved out of a stack of openings with a fearsome attacking display.

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The success makes it four wins and two draws from the new head coach’s first eight games in charge.

Pompey fans are now starting to see evidence of the style of play Mousinho is looking to impress on his team.

Even if the play-offs end up being out of reach, the 36-year-old feels the final 15 games of the season will be crucial in him impressing his game idea on the players – and showing fans there’s signs of progress.

Mousinho said: ‘It’s really important what we can give fans for the rest of the season.

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‘We have to make sure that we’re massively positive in every game we play.

John Mousinho.John Mousinho.
John Mousinho.

‘These games present massive opportunities, whether that’s challenging in the league or players being able to look at how they’re going to do here - whether that’s here or somewhere else.

‘We are also able to look at our playing style. it’s really important for us to look at our playing style.

‘Whatever we do at the back end of this season, we’ll take into next season - I’m sure of that.’

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Mousinho continued with a 4-2-3-1 formation against Cheltenham, after going with a 4-3-3 through his opening games in charge.

The result was a rampant display with Michael Jacobs pulling the strings behind Colby Bishop.

At the other end, Pompey looked largely comfortable as they chalked up their third clean sheet on the spin.

Mousinho added: ‘The change is mainly around maximising what we can get out of games and looking at opposition.

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‘With the formation that we play there will always be that tweak.

‘I’m never going to say that we’re not going to go to a completely different shape, because we might do if we need to.

‘But we’ve got a bit of stability coming from the back four and how we play the three in the middle of the park we can change from game to game.

‘We’ve got that capability to do that now.

‘One of my messages to Joe (Morrell) and Ryan (Tunnicliffe) was that, while you’re set up as two sixes you have the fluidity to go and play.

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‘I said I wanted to see one of them breaking forward and I wanted to see one of them coming and supporting the back four when they’ve got the ball - and that includes Michael (Jacobs) as well.

‘They did that really well and caused them a lot of problems.’

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