Fighting qualities needed to continue charge

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler

MICHAEL DOYLE told Pompey they need to show their appetite for a scrap to continue their promotion charge.

The Blues face Newport County tomorrow as they aim to build on the momentum created in their bid to make the top three.

Paul Cook’s side welcome the Exiles to Fratton Park as they aim for their third successive league win for the first time this season.

The aim is to make it 13 points from 15 and close the six-point gap on Plymouth and Oxford in the top three.

Pompey showed their ability and class to dismantle a promotion rival in Accrington Stanley on Tuesday.

But Doyle feels his team may need to show different qualities against a Newport side who are likely to be less ambitious than Stanley.

He said: ‘We’ve laid down a marker for the rest of the season now.

‘It was disappointing when we lost at home to Oxford and lost away to Barnet. They were big setbacks for us.

‘They took a bit out of us, and going into the run-in they knocked a bit out of us.

‘As much as you want to put them to bed you carry them with you. It’s hard.

‘So to go to Accrington like we did, and perform like we did against one of the best teams in the division at home was credit to us all.

‘The manager and the staff have been preparing us right.

‘They let us go up the day before the game against Accrington, stay over and then train before we came back down the next day.

‘Now it’ll be a difficult game against Newport and they have picked up a bit.

‘They are a difficult team to play and it might be a scrappy game.

‘We don’t know, but it could be everyone behind the ball.

‘We need to deal with that. It’s all about us, though and it’s important we go and do it right.’

Pompey are also looking to make it three homes wins on the bounce for the second time this season tomorrow.

A positive result would confirm the Blues are coming on strong for the final leg of the campaign.

Doyle said: ‘A lot of people were expecting us get beat the other night.

‘So to be 3-0 up at half-time was a statement. It’s something to build on and carry into the Newport game.

‘The manager’s had a word with us with what he expects for the final games.

‘We’re on track for where we want to go.

‘We seemed to have got things going at Fratton Park now.

‘With the fans behind us we’ve got some big results.

‘We’re looking forward to getting back there and getting three points. No one puts more pressure on us than ourselves to do that.

‘People probably thought we were gone.

‘People have written us off, but that’s fine.

‘There’s a belief from the fans, players and staff that we’re not dead yet.’