by Neil Weld
Pride is the only thing at stake when Pompey travel to the City Ground on Saturday.
If the Blues had not been deducted 10 points for entering administration in February then Nottingham Forest would be embroiled in a final day battle to beat the drop.
But Pompey’s financial woes mean the Reds are safe in the Championship for another season.
Steve Cotterill’s side currently sit 20th in the table, but could be leap-frogged by Barnsley if they fail to at least match the Tykes’ result against Brighton this weekend.
But the former Blues boss will instead by focused on defeating his former club and possibly over-taking Bristol City and Peterborough to finish a more respectable 18th.
Cotterill will be hoping for a happier Pompey reunion than the one he suffered at Fratton Park last November.
Erik Huseklepp (2) and Dave Kitson both found the target as the Blues cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
When Cotterill left Pompey to take charge at the City Ground in October, only Bristol City were keeping Forest off the bottom of the table.
After watching a 1-0 defeat at Coventry from the stands, he helped the Reds to back-to-back victories over Middlesbrough and Blackpool.
There were then two more wins from the next four games as Forest climbed out of the bottom three and into a more comfortable mid-table position.
But from mid-November to mid-February, the midlands outfit suffered a dreadful run of form, winning just one of 13 games to fall back into the drop zone.
Fortunately for Forest fans, though, Cotterill has managed to steady the ship and collect enough victories – including a memorable 7-3 triumph at Leeds – to stay in the division.
They will want to finish the season on a positive note after consecutive away defeats at Reading and Hull in their last two games.
But Pompey will have a large backing at the City Ground – more than 2,300 tickets have already been sold.
And those fans will be hoping the Blues can take advantage of Forest’s less-than-impressive home form.
The Reds have won just five times on their own patch in the Championship this term, with only bottom side Doncaster registering fewer home victories.
Forest have only beaten Middlesbrough (2-0), Reading (1-0), Ipswich (3-2), Coventry (2-0) and Millwall (3-1) at the City Ground and have lost 12 times.
Cotterill could welcome back nine-goal top scorer Garath McCleary on Saturday, with the striker available for selection following a three-match ban.
But fellow forward Dexter Blackstock and defender Joel Lynch both face late fitness tests after suffering slight knocks.
Despite targeting three points to end the campaign, Cotterill has revealed his sympathy for Pompey’s plight
He said: “It’s a really good club – it’s still full of good friends of mine. I still have good relationships with some of the players there.
“I’ve been through a lot with them and I’ve got a great deal of sympathy for them, the club’s staff and their supporters. Hopefully they will sort it out and come back stronger.”
It is sure to be a busy summer off the pitch at Fratton Park. On Saturday, however, exiting the Championship on a high will be Pompey’s only focus.