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Fixture News

Naylor: A Second Chance

Midfielder focused ahead of play-off clash with Sunderland

15 May 2019

Tom Naylor
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey fell just short in the race for automatic promotion to the Championship.

But Tom Naylor is determined that they make the most of a second opportunity provided by the play-offs.

The Blues will have to overturn a one-goal deficit after suffering a narrow defeat in the first leg at Sunderland on Saturday.

Now Naylor wants them to get over any disappointment and focus on trying secure another Wembley trip this season.

The midfielder said: “The play-offs have provided us with a second chance to get promoted and everyone’s focus is on that.

“It was a bit of a mix on Saturday. We didn’t create much and there weren’t many clear-cut chances at either end.

"Everyone needs to be up for it on the night and I’m sure the atmosphere will be massive."

Tom Naylor

“Craig obviously made one great save with his nose and they scored a great goal, although there wasn’t really anything else.

“We just have to go out on Thursday and believe we can overcome that. I’m sure we can get a result and send us back to Wembley.

“It would obviously be heart-breaking to miss out now after that spell we had when we were top of the league.

“We all know what happened just after Christmas, but it’s still been a great season and we want to finish the job.

“This will be the fifth time we’ve faced Sunderland and we know what their strengths and weaknesses are.

“Everyone needs to be up for it on the night and I’m sure the atmosphere will be massive. They’ll get behind us from beginning to end.”

With Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke the only fit senior centre-backs for Pompey, Naylor is always ready to fill in if required.

He said: “I don’t have that in mind, but I’ve played there a lot in my career and would be happy to help out if the gaffer needs me to.”

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