Boss hoping to avoid injuries against Cobblers
Play-off mania is sweeping Portsmouth as those two clashes with Plymouth draw ever closer.
But first there is the small matter of facing League Two champions Northampton as the regular season draws to a close on Saturday.
Paul Cook admits that he already has one eye on facing Argyle in the first leg next Thursday.
And he is hoping that they can get through their next game without anyone being added to the injury list.
The Blues boss said: “When you know that you’re definitely in the play-offs, you want to cut straight to the chase.
“Unfortunately we can’t do that and now we face a Northampton side who thoroughly deserve to have been crowned champions.
“We could get to 81 points, which at the start of the season you’d think would be enough for automatic promotion, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
“The important thing from my point of view is to come through this weekend unscathed and there are a couple of key positions that we must protect.
“It will still certainly be a good game with a sell-out crowd, though, and while Northampton can look forward to their holidays, we’ll just look to continue with our work.”
Northampton have not been beaten since Pompey won at Sixfields Stadium all the way back in December.
Cook said: “From what they’ve been through at the beginning of the season with their financial troubles to where they are now is incredible.
“I’m sure it will be a fitting day for them in front of a full house at Fratton Park on Saturday and they deserve to be acknowledged as the best team in this league.
“Great credit must go to Chris Wilder – who’s one of the good lads in this game – and his staff for what they’ve achieved.”
Pompey still have a number of injury doubts, but goalkeeper Paul Jones has made a quicker-than-expected recovery from a thigh problem.
Cook said: “He’s looking very good at the moment and it seems like he’ll make it. He’s come on leaps and bounds.”