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“I’m asking them again to push themselves and each other to do our best to acquire three points against Portsmouth" - Chris Powell

16 February 2018

Three games in seven days won’t affect the commitment levels Chris Powell will be demanding from his team against Portsmouth.

Blues had to be at the top of their game to overcome Wigan before a long trip on a difficult pitch at Bury in midweek ahead of facing Pompey.

But Powell says he’ll be asking for another big effort come 3pm on Saturday.

“It will be the same for them [three games in a week],” said Powell.

“We had a long journey on Tuesday, got back very late like our supporters which is testament to them to come and support the team.

“We’ve been very light in training and we’ve spoken to the players in terms of our tactical plan.

“We’ll go through it again thoroughly on Friday to make sure we’re prepared as we always do.

“Sometimes people say it’s only 90 minutes but on that pitch at Bury and our pitch is quite energy-sapping. The way I want them to play with the intensity they’ve shown so far does take a lot out of you.

“I’m asking them again to push themselves and each other to do our best to acquire three points against Portsmouth.

“It’s a big game, it’s going to be near sell-out and these are the sort of games you want to be involved in.”

Portsmouth are striving for the play-offs, however a late winner against MK Dons last Saturday is their only win in 2018 so far.

But Powell said in Kenny Jackett they have a manager who knows what it takes to get out of League One.

“He’s done it with Millwall, he’s done it with Wolves,” Powell added.

“He’s very astute, Kenny. He’s someone I know from my Charlton Millwall days. They’re a big club and they’re re-building.

“One thing they will never lose is that fervent support that they have. We’re going to hear them a lot but let’s hope our fans drown them out.

“They’re a club that has gone through a lot, from ecstasy to turmoil really with regards to off the field problems and ownership, but they’ve got new ownership now.

“They’ve stabilised the club and I suppose they’re trying to get back to where they were a few years back.

“Like many of clubs before them, they find themselves in League One and you have to earn the right to get yourself out of it to get yourself in the Championship and maybe to holy grail of Premier League.”

Come Saturday afternoon, Powell has the chance to make it five games unbeaten since his appointment.

“I can’t argue with what we’ve done so far and I want that to continue.

“There’s a good atmosphere, not only around the training ground but the club and I suppose the town, because the team have shown they can win games, but we’re not through it yet.

“We’ve got games to go and we need to work ever so hard to continue that starting against Portsmouth.”

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