Portsmouth need to take pressure off... Services are focused

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PORTSMOUTH are aiming for a fourth successive win as they journey to Teddington in London three south west.

The city club have been unbeaten since losing their opening game and confidence is growing within the squad.

They have climbed to second in the league and have their eyes on the top spot.

Director of rugby Jim Pearce insists there is a lot more to come from the squad and he is excited to see what they can do in the upcoming matches.

‘At the moment we are winning and picking up five points from the games,’ said Pearce.

‘There is still a need to take the pressure off ourselves because sometimes we are guilty of trying to force things.

‘It is a long season with 18 league games still left to play.

‘We have put in place some short-term targets for both first and second teams.

‘As a club we are seeing a greater strength in depth and we will get stronger still.

‘There are still a number of players to come back from unavailability and injury.’

One area the team needs to address is the number of penalties they are conceding particularly at the breakdown.

Experienced hooker Greg Houlihan returns to the starting line-up as part of a reshuffle in the forwards.

Rob Gicquel switches from back-row to the second row and Anthony Fooks moves from hooker to opened wing forward.

Jordan Cracknell makes his first appearance since his return from United Services Portsmouth as a front row replacement.

Mark Ovens is also on the bench after returning from work duties.

United Services Portsmouth are intent on maintaining their 100-per-cent record as they travel to Alresford in Hampshire one.

Head coach Rich Neil seeing his team have to work harder and harder every outing to keep the run going.

‘Every game we go unbeaten the harder it gets,’ said Neil.

‘We know that there are areas where we still need to improve.

‘Beating Bognor was a big win for us and one we had to fight hard for.’

Back-row forwards Tom Shaw and Liam Geoghegan were outstanding against Bognor and Services are looking for a repeat performance from them.

In Hampshire two Southsea Nomads face a tough visit to unbeaten league leaders Southampton.

They will be buoyed by their first win of the season after beating Chineham 28-19 in their last game.