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Jon Harley coy on Portsmouth promotion push despite win at Wycombe

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Mar 2024

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Portsmouth assistant Jon Harley is not focused on promotion despite a 3-1 victory at Wycombe moving the Sky Bet League One leaders closer to the Championship.

Pompey moved 11 points clear of third-placed Bolton following a stylish performance at Adams Park, in which top scorer Colby Bishop scored twice to make it 18 goals for the season.

Eight points from their remaining six games are required for Pompey to seal their return to the second tier after a 12-year absence, with a top-of-the-table clash with Derby to come on Tuesday night.

Harley, in charge on the touchline due to John Mousinho’s ban, said: “I don’t think that (promotion) is something we really want to talk about too much.

“As boring as it sounds, we’ve got a massive game against Derby coming up, so we just focus on that.

“I think if we focus on one game at a time, then the rest will take care of itself.

“Obviously, there is that going on in the back of our minds, we just want to get there as soon as we can and Derby becomes our next focus.

“The gaffer came down at half-time and had a few words and the key message, really, was let’s show some more energy.

“We knew it was going to be a fight in the second half and everyone stood up to it.

“The energy really rose and I think the game got wrapped up and in the last 20 minutes we felt really comfortable.”

Portsmouth led after three minutes when Bishop’s shot went in via a big deflection off Ryan Tafazolli, but Wycombe quickly levelled through Matt Butcher’s assured finish.

Bishop then doubled his tally after 28 minutes by steering in Abu Kamara’s low cross before Christian Saydee made sure of victory midway through the second half.

Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield said: “I felt we weren’t at our best, but we’ve gone pretty close.

“We had a couple of chances when we were 2-1 down – we hit the bar and had another couple of moments and if one of those goes in at 2-2, I really fancy us at home to have a good last half an hour.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and we had a bit of a sucker punch to go 3-1 down, which took the wind out of our sails a little bit.

“Portsmouth are at the top of the league for a reason.

“They’ve got some good players in forward areas who can hurt you at any moment and in Colby Bishop I think you’ll do well to find a better nine in the league.

“They’ve got some real good players and they’re a benchmark of where we want to get to.”

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