Richardson gunning for Pompey three
Leam Richardson has challenged Pompey to finally register three successive league victories '“ and quicken their promotion momentum.
The Blues head to League Two’s bottom side Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
They do so having chalked up timely consecutive wins over Notts County and Carlisle.
Crucially, though, Paul Cook’s team have so far failed to string together more than two league triumphs all season.
It is a damning statistic not suffered by promotion rivals, with Bristol Rovers (six) and Accrington (three) recently enjoying winning streaks.
Pompey are presently five points short of the automatic promotion spots with a game in hand.
And Richardson recognises the urgency to start putting together victory runs.
The Blues’ assistant manager said: ‘Looking at the league table, we are aware of certain patterns through the year and certain teams, none more so than ourselves.
‘We’ve had a certain pattern this year and let the lads know that – what we need to do is win.
‘We have a certain number of games, if we don’t win them we can disregard what anybody does.
‘Ever since the first game on August 8 we have been trying to chase the automatic promotion spots and attempting to cement the play-offs, but we need wins.
‘We have won three-in-a-row a couple of times if you include cups, but we need to win league games right now.
‘If you want to be where you want to be you must put pressure on yourself and maintain a standard and level of performance similar to the last two matches.
‘We are going to keep working hard and look to Dagenham with some intent.
‘Hopefully we can close that gap as quickly as we possible. I feel once we can get into that top three then we can go from strength-to-strength.’
Realistically, five teams are fighting it out for the final two automatic promotion spots.
Oxford United are in second place – seven points ahead of sixth-placed Pompey.
Meanwhile, Bristol Rovers, Plymouth and Accrington are level on 71 points, Rovers inching into third spot courtesy of goal difference.
It remains tightly packed in the race to join a Northampton side destined to be promoted to League One.
Yet in Pompey’s favour there is a game in hand, following the Bank Holiday Monday cancellation against AFC Wimbledon.
While Plymouth are coming to Fratton Park on April 16.
Richardson added: ‘Everybody who is involved can get there mathematically, there are some good teams this year.
‘I would not disrespect anybody by saying who are favourites, I have utmost respect for every team in the league.
‘As for the Plymouth fixture, you gets you three points, you don’t get any more. It is three points.’