Verdict: Portsmouth will not be looking past Peterborough in League One promotion race

Pompey will not be underestimating Peterborough United ahead of their Fratton Park clash.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 6:56 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 7:03 pm
Tom Naylor in action at Peterborough earlier in the season. Picture: Joe Pepler

That is the verdict of sports writer Will Rooney, speaking in the latest edition of Pompey Talk.

The Blues still can clinch automatic promotion with two games remaining this season.

They trail leaders Luton and second-placed Barnsley by four points but play their game in hand against the Posh on Tuesday night.

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Tom Naylor in action at Peterborough earlier in the season. Picture: Joe Pepler

With the race for the top two potentially going down to the final day of the campaign against Accrington on Saturday, it could be easy for Kenny Jackett’s men to start thinking about that game.

But Rooney believes Pompey will only have defeating a Peterborough side who remain in the play-off race on their mind. 

He said: ‘Peterborough have still got play-off ambitions and it is a must-win game for them.

‘The Posh have got a good side. When Pompey went to London Road in October, it was a top-of-table clash.

‘Peterborough have dropped down the table now but they have got some good players.

‘Pompey have delivered under pressure all season – in the Checkatrade Trophy final and in the FA Cup against Norwich and QPR at home.

‘They have a lot of experience and young, raw players who will be relishing it. 

‘Pompey know they need to win and that’s what the focus is on at the minute.

‘They’re focusing on Peterborough – not Accrington – and not underestimating them.’

The Fratton Park clash is a must-win for Peterborough if they’re to realistically maintain a chance of finishing in the top six.

They trail Doncaster by four points but have a worse goal difference of 10.

That could prompt Darren Ferguson’s men going for the Blues’ jugular. 

But Rooney feels such tactics would play into Pompey’s hands. 

He added: ‘Marcus Maddison is always linked with a move away every transfer window, while Siriki Dembele is on the other wing.

‘Lee Brown said their front four is as good as any in the division and they could come and attack Pompey.

‘Will that play into Pompey’s hands? Possibly because we’re used to seeing teams come to Fratton Park, sit back and hit Pompey on the counter-attack.

‘That’s what Coventry did on Easter Monday but now it could potentially be the opposite.

‘Darren Ferguson may think he’s seen the blueprint from Coventry or he might think Peterborough need to go for the jugular.

‘If it is the latter then it plays into Pompey’s hands.’