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Exclusive: David Norris identifies potential play-off worry for Portsmouth

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David Norris fears that Portsmouth may suffer from a mental block as they prepare to win promotion from League One via the play-offs this season.

Danny Cowley’s side are still trying to cement their place in the top-six in what is shaping up to be a hugely competitive play-off race in League One.

Pompey occupy the last play-off spot in League One, however Charlton Athletic sit two points below them and have an extra game in hand to play.

Last night, Pompey came from 2-0 down to take a 3-2 lead through John Marquis against Accrington Stanley in stoppage time, only for the striker to score an own goal moments later, culminating in a 3-3 draw.

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If Pompey were to finish in the play-offs, it would be the third year running for them having suffered defeat in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 semi-finals.

Speaking exclusively to Football League World, former Pompey midfielder David Norris fears that the club may suffer from a mental block as they potentially look to compete in the play-offs for the third successive year this season.

He said: “There’s potentially a mental block, especially if the squads haven’t changed too much.

“The thing with the play-offs is they are not going to be enjoyable games, because you just want to win at all costs. The pressure is always going to be high because the rewards are so big.

“If you don’t do it, it’s massive the other way, knowing you’re going to stay in the same league and probably not going to get any bonuses as players. Your contracts aren’t going to go up. You have all of that going into the summer and feel low ahead of pre-season.

“That all changes if you win promotion. Everything is all good.

“If you lose one of them or two of them and you have a similar squad who have been through it, they’ll definitely be a little bit of a mental block in the back of their minds.

“The play-offs are general are horrible games for a player to play in – you just have to win at all costs.”


Nottingham-based journalist who regularly covers Nottingham Forest home and away.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Exclusive: David Norris identifies potential play-off worry for Portsmouth

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