Pompey’s freedom fighters are a threat
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 22 February 2013
TO maintain their impressive league form and stretch a winning run to three games against Portsmouth at Boundary Park tomorrow, caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk says his side must be fully adjusted to the challenge.
"They are dangerous and playing with freedom," he said of troubled Pompey, still with ownership issues to resolve and currently propping up the division.
"I don't mean it disrespectfully, but Portsmouth probably think they are going down. So their players are playing for their futures as well. They are a dangerous team.
“From our perspective going from MK Dons, Everton and Stevenage away - where people may not have expected us to get much - the mentality has changed. We have to be very careful that as a group, that doesn't impact on our performance.”
Player-coach Paul Gerrard agreed: "They are probably playing without fear. They come here as a dangerous side who can relax into the game. We have to prepare right and give ourselves every opportunity to get the three points.
Aside from tomorrow's clash, Athletic have each of the other current members of the
bottom-four — Hartlepool (home), Bury (away) and Colchester (home) — to face. Fixtures with Shrewsbury (away) and Preston (away) also loom.
If Athletic can stay focused, Gerrard said, the 50-point mark will be hit sooner rather than later.
"We need not to get carried away by our results," he said.
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