Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman has admitted that the pressure is now on Portsmouth to step up to the mark following a poor start to the 2021/22 campaign.
Pompey would have been hoping to reach new heights in League One under the guidance of manager Danny Cowley during the opening stages of the season.
However, despite drafting in a host of fresh faces during the summer transfer window, Cowley has yet to get the best out of the players that he has at his disposal.
Since securing a 4-0 victory over Sunderland earlier this month, Portsmouth have been beaten on three occasions in all competitions.
Particularly poor in their clashes with Rotherham United and Ipswich Town, Pompey conceded four goals in both of these fixtures.
Having sealed a point in their showdown with Accrington Stanley last Saturday, Portsmouth will be desperate to get back to winning ways in the third-tier this weekend when they host Bolton Wanderers at Fratton Park.
Currently 14 points adrift of League One leaders Plymouth Argyle, Pompey know that they will need to pick up their performance levels if they are to emerge as contenders for a top-six finish next year.
Making reference to the club’s current plight, Goodman has admitted that the pressure is on Cowley’s side to deliver the goods as he believes Portsmouth should be challenging for a play-off place.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast about Pompey ahead of their meeting with Bolton, Goodman said: “The pressure is on, if you’re Portsmouth in League One you are expected to be up there.
“Now the top-two ship, that’s already sailed.
“Clearly a play-off push was the aim of the Cowley brothers and was the aim of the hierarchy at Portsmouth, there is no getting away from what the ambition has to be if you’re Portsmouth in League One.
“Look, it’s nothing that a three or four game winning-run won’t put right.”
Goodman later added: “I reiterate, when you’re Portsmouth in League One, at least a play-off spot has to be the aim.”
Although the 2021/22 campaign is still in its infancy, it is abundantly clear that Portsmouth need to step up to the mark if they are to provide their supporters something to shout about.
When you consider that Pompey have been in and around the play-off places in recent seasons, Goodman’s comments are spot-on regarding what their goal for the current term should be.
Set to face a Bolton side who have failed to win any of their last four league games, Portsmouth will be determined to deliver a positive performance at Fratton Park.
By sealing all three points in-front of their fans, Pompey may be able to use the momentum gained from this result to push on in the coming weeks as they are currently languishing in 16th place in the third-tier standings.