The next five fixtures are crucial for Portsmouth
An emphatic start to the season, which did propel the Blues up to second in the table, was halted on Saturday as Accrington Stanley robbed Paul Cook’s side of the three points.
A stunning strike from Paddy Lacey in the 52nd minute was enough for Stanley to snatch the win after a below-par Portsmouth performance made it a long four-and-a-half hours home.
Looking ahead at the fixture list, fans will learn a lot about what to expect from Pompey this season with tough games just around the corner.
First up is a hungry Barnet side who are looking to build on their 15th place finish last season, following their promotion from the National League.
It will almost be a year to the day since the teams last met at Fratton Park, with the south coast outfit running out 3-1 winners, despite initially going a goal down.
The reverse fixture also proved challenging for Pompey, with Martin Allen’s side winning 1-0 at The Hive. Therefore, Saturday’s tie will be no easy game for the Blues.
Just three days later, Portsmouth will travel to Blackpool for a Tuesday night clash against a team desperate to record just their second league win of the season. On paper, the away side should prevail, but such was the case on Saturday. Another long commute to Bloomfield Road could get the better of the Blues.
Doncaster, Leyton Orient and Plymouth Argyle, who knocked Portsmouth out of the play-offs last year, will round off what will be a tough few weeks for Michael Doyle & Co.
All three were tipped for promotion prior to the start of the season, with the Pilgrims and Donny currently occupying the top two spots in League Two. Furthermore, Darren Ferguson’s side recently mauled initial high-flyers Morecambe in what was an astonishing 5-1 win away from home.
The depth in Paul Cook’s 29-man squad is magnificent and largely superior to the majority of teams in the league, so fans would like to think that this should help them out in what is going to be a string of tough games.
Squad rotation will be necessary, especially with the Tuesday night games, but at least there is the capability to do that this season, already an aspect more encouraging from last!
The Fratton Faithful will certainly learn a lot in the coming weeks and one thing is for sure, their side will not make it easy for themselves!