Michael Doyle believes FA Cup progress can provide the momentum to drive Pompey’s promotion push.
And the Blues skipper has dismissed suggestions the competition is an unwelcome distraction
When we first started in the cup we were near the bottom of the league, yet ended seventh. The cup definitely helpedMichael Doyle
Paul Cook’s men host Bournemouth tomorrow in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The fixture has clearly captured the attention of supporters, with Fratton Park declared a sell-out on Monday.
Regardless of the occasion, Pompey’s priority remains escaping from League Two.
They are seven points adrift of the promotion spots and have a trip to Morecambe on Tuesday night.
Yet Doyle was a member of the Sheffield United side which reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 2014.
The Blades had been near the bottom of League One when the competition began – and finished seventh.
And he is convinced a run for Pompey can similarly aid their promotion ambitions.
‘With a lot of games to catch up on and teams starting to get close, some would say the competition is a distraction. But it’s not really,’ said Doyle.
‘When it comes down to it, we just need to get that momentum going. The sooner the better we go on a run of games and wins.
‘If the fixtures are coming Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday, it can be great because if you play six games in two weeks and manage to win them that’s a lot of points on the board, it adds up.
‘We had some runs in the Cup at Sheffield United and reached the semi-finals one year.
‘We were really struggling in the league and managed to start getting that momentum, picking up a few results in the Cup.
‘That is what kicked us on, all the way to the semis.
‘When we first started in the Cup we were near the bottom of the league, yet ended seventh.
‘The Cup definitely helped us.
‘Saturday is important, we need a good performance and if we get a result brilliant.
‘There is nothing better than that momentum of winning games – and sometimes the Cup can give you that.’
That run saw the Blades bow out following a 5-3 defeat to Hull at Wembley.
This season Doyle has skippered a Pompey side which has so far seen off Macclesfield, Accrington and Ipswich in the competition.
All three victories were achieved at Fratton Park – with Pompey hoping home advantage can once again count.
And Doyle is relishing the chance to inflict a Cup upset on the Cherries.
He added: ‘It will be great, a little bit of spice to it being Bournemouth, a club not too far away.
‘The Cup games here seen the fans get right behind us, the atmosphere has been brilliant.
‘We’re looking forward to it, it’s a really great game for us.’