DANNY HOLLANDS told his Pompey team-mates: Forget about our rivals.
The Blues midfielder warned Paul Cook’s men they need to get their own house in order before weighing up the League Two promotion picture.
Hollands & Co go to Mansfield today looking to close the six-point gap on the automatic slots to go up.
With 10 games to go, eyes are being cast towards what it’s going to take to make it into the top three – as well as the points total to make the play-offs.
Hollands admitted he’s had a look at what is taking place over the run-in for Pompey and their rivals.
The reality, however, is Cook’s side haven’t looked like producing the kind of consistent form that’s needed to go up automatically.
And the midfielder knows, until that’s remedied, looking at what other teams are doing is pointless.
He said: ‘We have to get the points.
‘I might have had a little look at the run-ins. It’s only natural you do that.
‘If you can get nine points out of nine, it’s funny how things can change.
‘But there’s no point in worrying about it unless you look after yourselves first.
‘If you don’t get the points, it doesn’t matter what other teams do.
‘It’s all in the balance still and we are hungry to put things right.
‘It’s been frustrating but we have played good football through the season as a whole.
‘If you’d said what’d happened this season after last season, I guess most fans would’ve taken it.
‘It’s been quite good, although it’s obvious there is still room for improvement.
‘We’re working hard and confident it can come together over the final 10 games.
‘Once we start doing well we can start looking at tables and where we are.’
The average total needed to go up automatically in League Two over the past 20 years stands at 81 points.
That covers a low of 78 points (Port Vale 2012-13 and Wycombe 2008-09) and high of 85 points (Bury 2014-15 and Swindon 2006-07).
It’s looking increasingly like it will be above the average this term, however.
‘You can’t pick a number,’ added Hollands.
‘At the start of the season you are always looking at the 80 mark or around that.
‘You are setting out for around the 80 mark.
‘That’s what you are looking for. It’s what you normally need to get promoted.
‘But we have to get our heads down, look at the next game and go from there.
‘Look at Accrington and Plymouth. Plymouth think they have three points and concede two late goals.
‘That’s what keeps the fans coming back.
‘We have to worry about ourselves. We have to look at 10 games and what we can get from those games.
‘That’s all I’m concerned about.’