|Stevenage 3 v 0 Portsmouth|
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 18th March 2017 Kick-off 15:00
Pompey's Stevenage visit is for a battle of the fine form book
Friday, 17th Mar 2017 19:47 by pompey-fans.com staff
There was a time earlier in the season when a game against Stevenage represented a great chance to build on a run of three straight victories. Not so now.
They have transformed themselves into serious promotion candidates with a run of five wins in six - and four straight wins - that ended with defeat to Blackpool in midweek.
It's left them in the thick of the play-off race and among a group of clubs who are now hoping Pompey slip up to open up the opportunities to finish third and claim the final automatic promotion spot.
In fact Stevenage are top of the 'last 10 games' form table with 25 points from 30 - a period in which Pompey are second with 20. So it is all set up to be a close contest in Hertfordshire.
Pompey boss Paul Cook is enjoying the Blues' current form but has already warned there could be another blip at any time - and won't want it to be against one of their rivals for the prize.
Cook told The News: 'Our lads haven’t stood up and been counted – they are actually playing how I believe they should be. On Tuesday night there was a genuine swagger about the team, that not only comes from confidence but the fans’ support.
‘There is a realisation among the players now as well. This club historically is unbelievable and one day people will speak about our time here. What do we want to be remembered for? Are we going to wallow and tinker into the play-offs and have heartbreak again, and the manager might stay or go and season tickets might be slow to start then pick up?
‘What do we want to be? We have a chance to do something about that and that is not saying ‘we’re going to do it’, not shouting from the rooftops, just having a little bit of quietness about us. We are very focused and, judging on the last three performances, you can see the players have bought into it.’
Curtis Main and Jack Whatmough remain sidelined and there are doubts over Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith after knocks on Tuesday night.
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