They might be on in turmoil off the pitch, and in a winless run and loosing streak that might generate an unwanted club record for the once proud Hampshire side, but Portsmouth will be no walk over according to Richard Hughes, even if the Cherries are in the unusual position of being odd-on favourites to win!
Hughes, who used to play for Portsmouth until recently, is quoted in the Bournemouth Evening Echo as saying about his former club: "These are the sort of games that worry me. People look at the table and, automatically, think we are going to win. There will be no complacency on our part because the manager will not allow it. We will have had a free week to implement a structure and a plan to deal with the game and it is a huge one. They will bring lots of supporters and create a good atmosphere. If you are a Pompey player, it is a fantastic game to play in because the expectation will be off them and that is not always the case when you play at Fratton Park. The reaction to the Walsall defeat has been really encouraging for us. When you go on a long unbeaten run, you know it has got to end at some stage. One of the most satisfying aspects was that we were able to bounce back and start another one. The three games were all very different and posed different challenges. But our preparation was spot on and the lads put into practice what the manager had worked on in training. It has been a fantastic collective effort and some of the football we have played, particularly in the two away games, has been excellent. When we are at home, things are more congested and there is a demand and expectation on us to attack at every given opportunity. That is why the home game against Crewe presented a different challenge and one we responded to. It took us 45 minutes to come to terms with it but, once we had, we created numerous chances. It has been a really good run and we need to continue it".
Source: Cherries MAD