It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for Pompey fans, having seen their side lead League One for such a long time, only to fall away at a crucial time.
As we enter the dying stages of the competition, it seems they’re back in the mix for an automatic promotion spot.
Just one point sits between them and Barnsley in second, although Sunderland are also above them on goal difference.
Kenny Jackett has toyed with his team somewhat, dropping Brett Pitman early in the season. Last year’s leading scorer has had to fight back into contention and he, along with two other players, now look set to help them finish the job of a Championship return.
Jamal Lowe is a player who has impressed all season long. He came out of the National League South a couple of seasons back and has evolved into a key player at Fratton Park. Along with Pitman he was a stand out performer last season but unlike the powerful forward, he’s rarely been out of the side this season.
Another non-league capture who has proven his worth recently is Ollie Hawkins. He found himself preferred to Pitman early doors, but dropped out of the side after Omar Bogle joined on loan. Hawkins has regained his place, in no small part due to his Wembley heroics.
That trio are now set to ensure Pompey are in the mix right up until the final kick of the season. All three started the game against Rochdale at the weekend and all three were also on the scoresheet.
Omar Bogle, preferred up front to Hawkins in recent weeks, had to be content with a cameo from the bench and after the 4-0 destruction of Dale at Fratton Park, there’s no clear way back into the side for the Cardiff man.
It’s taken Kenny Jackett time to accommodate all three players in the same side, but they were devastatingly good this weekend and have hit form at just the right time.
Whilst he hasn’t relied on them all during the season, a wise switch to familiar players in the latter stages looks likely to reward Pompey with a place in the second-tier at the end of the season.