2nd Leg Build Up


Well it’s all about build up for the second leg at Fratton Park today and Luke O’Nien can’t wait to get down to Portsmouth and get the job done. “I am very positive going into the second leg,” he said. “The way we set ourselves up for the first leg puts us in a very good position. There’s still a lot of work to do, although we have a one-nil lead going to Fratton Park. We have had a good couple of days of training and the boys are in good spirits. We have been down there before, and we know what it is like. We have experienced their stadium and their fans, so we will be hoping to put in a professional job and hopefully keep our lead. They are a good team and we have played them lots of times this season, so we know what they are about. We are going to have to make sure that we are on it and I am sure if we do this, they won’t be able to handle us. The quality that we have in our team is massive, and we have done our homework on them, but we have to focus on ourselves so that we can do our job properly and hopefully that it enough to come away with a win. It is our ambitions to get back to Wembley and put things right after our last game (the Checkatrade Trophy final) and make sure we are on the end of the right result this time.”

Meanwhile, Jack Ross knows it’ll be a big game atmosphere at Fratton Park, but is looking forward to it. “The players are in a good place right now,” he said. “I knew that the other night going into the first leg, they were looking forward to it and they showed that on the night. They definitely had a little bit about them in terms of wanting to end the season properly and get what we deserve from it. They are excited to go again on Thursday evening. It is a terrific place to go and play and we had that earlier in the season when we went there in December. Portsmouth were top that day and the atmosphere was brilliant. We know what it is going to be like, but we’ve got a lot of players who enjoy that environment and will thrive in it.”

In other news, Pompey boss Kenny Jackett believes his team need to rediscover their cutting edge if they to beat us. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen! He said: “For a few games, going forward we haven't necessarily been at our best. I do think we have been competitive and tough, all those things we were in Saturday's game. But, going forward as a side, have we been at our absolute maximum? Not necessarily. Are we capable of getting to that Thursday night? Yes, we will need that to win. I don’t think we have been poor defensively, but in attack we haven’t quite been as incisive or had those moments. You can offer excuses, but for three or four games we haven’t quite flowed going forward and we haven’t got in behind people. There are a number of games where we just haven’t had enough shots. That’s it, full stop, that’s the end product. Earlier in the season we’ve had spells defending and you still think one break and we could get a good chance. I have always had that feeling. Whereas now there is a lot of effort for us going forward, but it is tough to get shots in. We are solid but, going forward, have not necessarily been at our best, not incisive, not creating clear-cut chances. That is what we need Thursday – and we are capable of it.”

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