|Portsmouth 0 v 1 Blackpool|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 12th January 2019 Kick-off 15:00
It's tough at the top, but it's where Pompey aim to stay
Friday, 11th Jan 2019 20:33 by pompey-fans.com staff
Matt Clarke wants his team-mates to remember there is no room for standards to slip in their League One promotion bid.
Pompey head into the first league weekend of 2019 five points clear at the summit, but they know it's a gap that will soon close if they don't keep picking up victories.
Blackpool head south this week with their manager Terry McPhliips insisting all the pressure is on the Pompey in the fixture, and Clarke was quick to say the Blues must take the visitors seriously.
Clarke told the Pompey website: 'We went up there earlier this season and with everything happening there, you perhaps thought they would struggle. But they’re a resilient side and if you underestimate them then you’re probably going to lose the game.
'When you’ve come this far and we’ve given ourselves a great opportunity, it would be disappointing if we let it slip. Promotion is in our own hands and so we have to keep working hard and doing what we have been doing. We want to finish the job.
'It’s a bit hectic at the moment – it feels like it’s game, day off, a day of training and then back to playing again. That’s what happens at this time of year and it doesn’t look like it’s going to ease up with the cup competitions we’re in.'
Clarke will be one of the first names on the teamsheet this weekend but the big question is how does Kenny Jackett replace Ben Thompson, who - for now at least - has gone back to Millwall.
Possibilities include moving Gareth Evans back to a deeper midfield role or switching Dion Donohue to the spot alongside Tom Naylor. The Blues are without Nathan Thompso, Lee Brown, Ben Close and Oli Hawkins for the game.