Doyle: Heat is on Pilgrims

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle

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MICHAEL DOYLE believes the pressure is on Plymouth in tomorrow’s play-off return.

The Blues skipper reckons the Pilgrims have the edge for the second leg after Thursday night’s 2-2 draw at Fratton Park.

But Doyle spoke of the belief and conviction in his team’s quality to progress at Home Park.

After previous play-off failures and letting automatic promotion slip, the 34-year-old feels the heat will be on Pompey’s rivals.

And Doyle reckons the Blues’ strong away form this season means they travel with confidence.

He said: ‘We go to Plymouth and the onus will be on them now.

‘The crowd will be a bit like ours was.

‘We’re not arrogant but we’re going to play and show what we can do.

‘We want to impose ourselves on them.

‘They may have a little edge, but we travel well and it’s all to play for.

‘We are going there with confidence.’

Doyle thinks the breathless manner of Thursday’s clash means the neutrals will be looking forward to tomorrow’s return leg.

He afforded Plymouth praise for the manner in which they contributed to the frenetic and exciting nature of the game.

Pompey won 2-1 at Home Park last August with a strong display.

Doyle feels the level of performance in that game – plus the two games at Fratton Park this season – has been decent from his side.

But that hasn’t stopped all of those clashes being nip-and-tuck affairs.

The Irishman reckons it could be more of the same tomorrow, but sees no reason why more drama will not be served up

‘People will be rubbing their hands after the first game,’ said Doyle.

‘Sometimes the play-offs can be a bit boring to watch.

‘That wasn’t the case on Thursday and you’d expect it to be the same.

‘Some of the games can be cagey but that was anything but.

‘We’ve had a go and Plymouth have done the same, to be fair to them.

‘It takes two teams to make a game, so we’ll see how it goes now.

‘The intensity of the game was unbelievable and it will go up now.

‘We’ve played them three times and I think we’ve been outstanding, but the games seem to be tight.

‘We have to give a similar performance and make sure we come out on top.

‘It’s about us. If we go there and play well we’ll come out on top.’

Pompey received an allocation of 1,700 tickets for tomorrow’s game, meaning many fans will be forced to watch the game on TV.

Doyle is hoping to give the supporters who can’t make the game another memorable day out.

He said: ‘A lot of the fans will be watching the game on TV who didn’t get tickets.

‘We just want to get to Wembley for them.

‘Hopefully, we can do that for them, because they deserve it.

‘They’ve had so many years of being messed about. So we want to put in a performance for them to make it to Wembley.’