Ben Davies: Coach trip inspired crucial Pompey win
Pompey's players had eight hours to reflect on their York City shame.
An agonising coach journey home Ben Davies is convinced straightened the heads of an imploding Blues.
The response was Wycombe – and a victory which effectively seals a play-off spot.
Paul Cook’s side’s impressive opening 45 minutes laid the foundations for a 2-1 Fratton Park victory over the visitors.
Gary Roberts and substitute Conor Chaplin netted, although Sido Jombati’s free-kick 16 minutes from time provided a nervy finish.
It ensured a week in which automatic promotion evaporated ended on some semblance of a positive.
Now only Cambridge United can deprive Pompey of a play-off spot – and even then it would require a remarkable turnaround in goal difference.
A winning response from Davies and his team-mates after the heartbreak of two previous fixtures.
The right-back said: ‘We were all geared up for the Plymouth game and the disappointment was we should have won it.
‘The York game was different but I think deep down we knew we needed to beat Plymouth and the hangover carried into that York game.
‘Still, we put that right on Saturday and it is all systems go, geared up towards being a busy couple of weeks for us in the play-offs.
‘Earlier in the week we sat for eight hours on the bus journey home thinking about what had just happened at York and how poor we were.
‘That was probably our worst performance of the season.
‘We needed to bounce back, there was a lot of pressure put on us against Wycombe.
‘There are some good players in the dressing room who have played in some big games and that is also going to be important to us over the next few weeks.
‘The first five or 10 minutes we were a bit edgy, a bit nervous but after that could have easily come in three or four up.
‘We had some great chances and hit a post and although it got a bit nervy towards the end I thought we were fully in control all afternoon.
‘We have conceded some late goals recently and you are thinking “surely not again” when they had a couple of late chances but we managed hang on and it’s the play-offs probably secured now.’
Cambridge need to win their remaining two matches and hope Pompey lose their final three if they are to pip them to a play-off spot.
There is also the factor of Cook’s side currently having an 18-goal advantage over them.
Defeat means Wycombe – last year’s League Two finalists – now cannot reach the play-offs this term.
Seventh-placed AFC Wimbledon are five points ahead of Cambridge.
Davies added: ‘It’s now a case of getting up a head of steam up for the play-offs.
‘The day we walked through the door we wanted automatic promotion and are disappointed we haven’t got it, we are not going to hide behind that.
‘After Plymouth and York, automatic promotion has probably gone now so you dust yourself off with two weeks to go.’