Meet Town's opponents: Pompey are sliding, strikers out, the Cook factor - and a new boss!

A general view of Fratton Park before the FA Cup fifth round match between Portsmouth and Arsenal.

Town visit Portsmouth this weekend - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town travel to Portsmouth this weekend hoping to bounce back from their horror show at Fleetwood on Tuesday night. MIKE BACON takes a look at Pompey.

BIG CLUBS, NEW BROOMS

There is little doubt, along with Sunderland, Portsmouth and Ipswich are three of the biggest clubs in League One.

However, life for Pompey and Town is far from smooth right now.

File photo dated 19-03-2016 of Kenny Jackett

Former Pompey boss, Kenny Jackett - Credit: PA

While Ipswich are looking to move forward with a new boss in Paul Cook, Portsmouth are beginning life without Kenny Jackett.

The 59-year-old’s reign of almost four years came to an end on Sunday following the humbling Papa John’s Trophy final defeat to League Two Salford the previous day.

It just shows how tough managing at this level can be - Jackett had Pompey top at Christmas!

'PEP would struggle with our team' Town fans on Twitter

Most Read

However, it's Danny Cowley who is now in charge at Fratton Park, and we all know how he did the last time he met Ipswich in the FA Cup in 2017 as Lincoln boss!

So, it's new brooms all round as both clubs seek to bring back the glory years. Both have won both the First Division Championship and the FA Cup.

Indeed, Portsmouth are one of only five English football clubs to have been champions of all four tiers of the professional English football pyramid, (after Wolves, Burnley, Preston North End and Sheffield United).

Portsmouth's Manager Paul Cook before the Sky Bet League Two match at Fratton Park, Portsmouth.

Paul Cook, when he was Portsmouth manager - Credit: PA

THE COOK FACTOR

Current Town boss  Paul Cook was appointed manager of Portsmouth on May 12, 2015.

He led them to an EFL League Two play-off spot in that first season, but lost to Plymouth Argyle in the semi-final.

However, next season Cook did secure promotion to League One after a 3–1 win away at Notts County.

TOWN ratings after the dismal performance at Fleetwood

In an exciting finale and on the final day of that same season, May 6, Portsmouth topped the table (for the first time that campaign) following the 6–1 home win against Cheltenham and were crowned champions of League Two.

Three weeks later Cook resigned to join Wigan!

Salford City's winning goalscorer in the penalty shoot out Jason Lowe celebrates with goalkeeper Vac

Salford City's winning goalscorer in the penalty shoot out Jason Lowe celebrates with goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky and team-mates during the 2020 Papa John's Trophy final at Wembley against Pompey last weekend. - Credit: PA

SLIP-SLIDING AWAY

Pompey have dropped to 10th in League One - as I said, they were top at Christmas!

That's a huge drop by anyone's standards. They have lost their last four games, including a humiliating 1-4 defeat to lowly Northampton (who were 4-0 up at half-time). It isn't surprising Jackett has gone. They are three places and two points behind Town in the live table. Town are seventh.

In the six-game form guide, it makes even grimmer reading for Pompey fans. Only Rochdale and Plymouth are below them.

Portsmouth's Ryan Williams (centre right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game durin

Portsmouth's Ryan Williams (centre right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road, back in December. - Credit: PA

HEAD TO HEAD

Pompey and Town are pretty frequent opponents.

Since going back to their first-ever encounter in 1959 - a game Town won 2-0 at Portsmouth - the teams have met more than 50 times.

Town hold the upper hand, having won 19 of those clashes, but you have to go back to 2012 for the last time Ipswich beat the Fratton Park side.

COOK: There is so much work to be done

The last four occasions the two sides have met - admittedly twice in the FA Cup which Ipswich have never been especially bothered about in recent years! - Pompey have come out on top.

The last time the two teams met was back in December at Portman Road. A Ryan Williams double secured all three points for Pompey then.

One of Town's biggest-ever league wins was against Pompey back in 1964, when they won 7-0 at Portman Road in a Division Two clash.

Portsmouth's Ellis Harrison (left) and Brighton and Hove Albion's Alexis Mac Allister battle for the

Ellis Harrison - out injured for Pompey - Credit: PA

STRIKER WOES

Former Town man, Ellis Harrison has been ruled out for Pompey with a knee injury for the rest of the season.

The 27-year-old has made 31 appearances this term, scoring six goals. That leaves John Marquis and Jordy Hiwula as Pompey’s only available senior out-and-out strikers, although Marquis does at least already have 14 league goals to his name.

James Norwood remains Town's top league scorer on six goals.

The race for the play-offs remains tight and is tightening up each week. Now just six points separate fifth from 13th in League One, meaning nine clubs can realistically say they are in with a chance of a play-off place, including Town and Pompey.

The sun sets at Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in the Northern Territory, Australia PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Pi

Ayers Rock, named after Portsmouth native Sir Henry Ayers in 1873 - Credit: PA

DID YOU KNOW?

Ayers Rock in Australia, also known as Uluru, was named after Portsmouth native Sir Henry Ayers in 1873. The son of a dockyard worker, he emigrated to Australia, and was the premier of South Australia for a record five years running.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus