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Naylor: We've Looked Stronger As Season Progressed

Skipper disappointed to miss out on automatic promotion

10 June 2020

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Tom Naylor
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

The resolution of Tuesday’s vote by EFL clubs means Pompey can now prepare for a play-off clash with Oxford.

There is plenty of excitement about the two-legged clash this summer, even if it has been tempered by the fact games have to take place behind closed doors.

It was not the Blues’ first choice – they were one of the clubs who wanted the season to reach a natural conclusion.

Kenny Jackett’s side were still chasing automatic promotion when the action was halted in March and were keen to continue that battle.

Instead it is Rotherham who go up with champions Coventry on a points per game basis, leaving Tom Naylor to wonder what might have been.

He said: “You think about the points dropped here and there, and how we could have been where those teams sat.

“Coventry at home was a big one – if that game had been played later in the season then we probably would have seen it out.

"You think about the points dropped here and there, and how we could have been where those teams sat."

Tom Naylor

“There were other examples like away at Bristol Rovers and it was period where we were just looking to gel properly.

“We had quite a few new players in the squad over he summer and were still finding out about everyone’s strengths.

“But the longer we went on, the better we looked – we were far more formidable around Christmas time.

“We went on a really good run after a period when we had struggled, with all the work we were doing in training being taken onto the pitch.

“So everyone is now feeling confident about the players we have in our team. We want to crack on and get into the Championship.”

Naylor was appointed captain during the season and enjoys the responsibility of leading the Blues on the pitch.

He said: “You have to be respected in the team and be prepared to speak your mind in the dressing room if required.

“It’s all about leadership. Everyone is entitled to their say, but respect is important because people won’t listen if you don’t have that.

“You need to have a certain mindset and be prepared to have big shoulders because you have to carry whatever comes your way.”

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