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McCall aiming for result at Pompey following emphatic Southend win

Stuart McCall has challenged his players to build on Tuesday night’s emphatic victory over Southend United when they travel to promotion hopefuls Portsmouth on Saturday.

The Iron will be aiming for back to back wins as they head to Hampshire as they head into the final furlong of the season and on Cheltenham week, McCall is hoping his side can take another stride towards safety.

Whilst punters are busy researching Cheltenham Festival Trends ahead of Friday’s Gold Cup renewal, League One also promises to serve up a grandstand finish at both ends of the table, with Portsmouth trying to get their head in front of Sunderland, Barnsley and Charlton in the race for an automatic promotion spot.

McCall’s men have appeared lame in recent weeks, but Tuesday’s victory has given his side confidence ahead of the long journey south having cantered to an impressive 4-1 win against relegation rivals Southend.

“We’re looking forward to it, like we do every game. We know it will be a difficult match but we’ll make it difficult for them as well”, McCall told the press.

“They’ve had a great start to the season and came here in November, beating us 2-1. We didn’t really get going until we went two down but we gave them a really good game in the end and were unfortunate not to take something from it.

“They had a tricky run but they seem to have got out of it now, getting to the Checkatrade Trophy final with a thumping 3-0 win at Bury. They beat Bradford comfortably in their last home game and then won at Walsall in midweek. They certainly have a lot of attacking options.

“As a player, you enjoy playing in these kinds of stadiums and big atmospheres. It will be great support at Fratton Park on Saturday and hopefully we can silence them.”

McCall added that Levi Sutton will miss out with a groin injury and goalkeeper Jak Alnwick has been suffering with illness.

The boss said: “Levi will miss out with a tweak of his groin and I’d imagine it will only be Saturday that he misses.

“Jak has had a bit of illness that he’s struggling to shake off but he’ll be okay. They’re all in good shape to travel down and looking to put in a strong performance. There will be times when we need to defend well, in the key moments, but we’ll also look to carry a threat.”


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Episode 19: Dragged into a relegation dogfight

Episode 20 – Clueless Iron sunk by Pompey