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Guy's Spireites Warning

29 August 2013

Boss expects Chesterfield to challenge for promotion

The next few weeks will provide a daunting test for the Blues.

Four of the next six games will be played away from Fratton Park, while the two at home are against promotion favourites Chesterfield and Fleetwood.

Pompey host the Spireites on Saturday having collected five points from their opening four League Two fixtures.

But Chesterfield have made an even better start, with only Oxford keeping them off the top of the table at this early stage.

And Guy Whittingham expects them to still be up there come the end of the season.

The Blues boss said: “They’re a good fooballing side. Paul Cook has brought some decent signings in.

“You look at the teams who were in the play-offs last season and they’ll all be there or thereabouts.

“But you also look at sides like Chesterfield and Fleetwood and expect them to be right up there.

“But we’re unbeaten in the last three games and remain very positive.

“How well you do at home can dictate your season. Keep picking up the wins at home and it makes the away draws feel even better.”

Pompey have dropped points from a winning position on three occasions this season – including in last week’s 2-2 draw at Mansfield – and Whittingham knows that they have to sharpen up at the back.

He said: “We’re creating a lot of chances and have scored some good goals and we want that to continue.

“It’s now about finding the right balance between doing that and also staying secure at the back.

“There is competition for places and there needs to be battles all over the pitch because if they don’t perform well, there’s someone ready to take their place.”

Marcos Painter is the only doubt for Pompey this weekend after limping off with a hamstring injury at Mansfield.

Whittingham said: “Marcos is recovering. He’s probably touch-and-go for Saturday, but wouldn’t be out for much longer than that.

“But Tom Craddock is back in training and in contention to feature against Chesterfield.”

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