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League One

League One: 'Portsmouth reaching the Championship is a realistic possibility, there is no doubt about that'

Former striker Steve Claridge discusses Pompey's chances after an impressive start to the season...

24 November 2018

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Former Portsmouth striker Steve Claridge says reaching the Sky Bet Championship is a realistic possibility for Kenny Jackett’s side after their fantastic start to the season...

Pompey are top of Sky Bet League One by two points after 17 games, and Claridge admits that Jackett’s experience in the third division of English football will serve the club well.

“He is experienced at this level and has a lot of contacts at this level, he has been promoted from this league before and he has been at clubs with a similar expectation that Portsmouth are at,” he said.

“I think reaching the Championship is a realistic possibility, there is no doubt about that, but it is a long season and I don’t think everyone will be counting their chickens too early.

“If they stay together after a few blips along the way, and it will be the blips that will determine where they will actually finish up.”

The table-toppers face 17th-placed Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park on Saturday looking to extend their lead at the summit to five points depending on results elsewhere, and Claridge says Pompey now have the perfect balance after a difficult period for the club.

He added: “They have a really good manager who knows the level and has been successful at this level, they have a set of really good players and they have a gentleman who has taken over now, who is determined to the run the club properly and wants to be successful.

“They have the perfect balance and they have come out of a very tough situation, so there is a degree of patience and expectation that is good, and they understand it has to be a process that is done properly.

“I think everything is there and the true test will be if they get promoted to the Championship, and as we know is the league where clubs lose their heads, but so far I think they have done fantastic.”

The Iron got back to winning ways last time out in Sky Bet League One with 2-1 victory over Bristol City at the Memorial Stadium, with goals from Lee Novak and Matthew Lund.

Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick produced a stunning penalty save at to keep the scores level on the 75th minute, before Lund’s strike too all three points for the visitors three minutes later.

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