Neville backs Portsmouth to keep their cool

Rob Gicquel. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141111-796)
Rob Gicquel. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141111-796)
  • Rugby Camp outfit primed for relegation decider
  • Gicquel back for crucial dogfight at Farnham
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Ed Neville is backing Portsmouth to handle the pressure in their crucial London two south west relegation clash at Farnham tomorrow.

The chairman of the Rugby Camp outfit is adamant the players can keep their nerve and seal survival.

It is all about who can keep their nerve because there isn’t much to choose between the two teams

Ed Neville

With just three games remaining, it couldn’t be any tighter at the bottom, although basement club Tadley look doomed.

Either Farnham or Portsmouth look most likely to join them but Old Reigatians could still be dragged into the mix.

Portsmouth head into the game third from bottom but with a two-point advantage over their hosts.

They have already beaten Farnham once this season – winning 28-13 on home turf.

‘Games don’t come any more pressured than this,’ said Neville.

‘It is stand up and be counted time for players on both sides.

‘It is all about who can keep their nerve because there isn’t much to choose between the two teams.

‘Whoever wins will put themselves in the stronger position.

‘We have to see it as an opportunity to put a bit more daylight between us and Farnham.’

In the first meeting between the two teams it was the Portsmouth forwards who provided the platform for the win.

Their strong mauling was too much for Farnham on the day with Adam Long, in particular, a big threat.

Long features again for the visitors, while captain Rob Gicquel returns from an ankle injury to increase Portsmouth’s line-out options alongside Will Brock.

Rich Farmer and Darren Crabb are also back to increase the physicality in the forwards.

‘We are fielding our strongest set of forwards and will look to repeat what we did last time,’ said Neville.

‘Our prop forwards Ben Cummings and Ian French are also playing out of their skins at the moment.

‘We just have to make sure we don’t freeze on the day.

‘If it hadn’t been for our extensive injuries during the season I believe we would not be in this position.’

PORTSMOUTH: Cantwell, Jones, Gates, Richards, Tamatawale, Chandler, Morgan C, Cumming, Hoolihan, French, Crabb, Gicquel, Brock, Long, Farmer. Replacements: Smith, Thatcher, M Morgan