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Derby County 1 v 1 Portsmouth
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 16th September 2023 Kick-off 15:00
Derby v Pompey: Mousinho - We need to mix it with top sides
Saturday, 16th Sep 2023 11:07

John Mousinho feels the international break came just at the right time for Pompey - and put them in good stead for this weekend's visit to Derby's Pride Park.

He says the two-week break between League One matches has given him and his staff to get down to detailed plans on the training grounf.

Some feel they'd rather have seen Pompey play last weekend and try to build on last-time-out's win over Peterborough. But the visit to Barnsley was called off - and rearranged for this coming Tuesday - because of international call-ups.

Mousinho told the Pompey website: 'It was nice to have some time off after nine games in under 30 days – it’s the busiest start to a season I can remember. We were able to give the lads a bit of a break, but also get in a couple of really good training blocks, which we haven’t been able to do since the build-up to facing Bristol Rovers.

'There are some things that we’ve been able to work hard on and overall, it’s been a positive period for us. Every game provides a different test and it will be no different on Saturday against Derby, who are one of the favourites for promotion.

'They’ve invested in their squad and we know what they’re all about, while it will be a good atmosphere at Pride Park. It’s something we’ll relish. We need to make sure we can mix it with the top sides in the division, which we want to be this season.

'It perhaps let us down a bit during the last campaign, although playing as well as we did at Derby towards the end did lay down a marker.'

Mousinho said winger Gavin Whyte was 'touch and go' for the Derby game while Kusini Yengi and Anthony Scully were making good progress in their injury recoveries.

Photo: Action Images

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