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Fixture News

Mousinho: This Is Where It Counts

Boss looking forward to opening fixture

4 August 2023

John Mousinho
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Fixture News

Mousinho: This Is Where It Counts

Boss looking forward to opening fixture

4 August 2023

The waiting is almost over and the competitive action is about to begin.

All the hard work in training and friendly fixtures have been leading to this – the start of the new League One campaign.

John Mousinho is looking forward to seeing his side in action when they host Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

And with 12 new players having already arrived this summer, there is a real air of anticipation in the south coast air.

The Blues boss said: “What we’re going for this season is to compete and be in the mix for promotion, although there a lot of competitive sides in the division.

“It’s difficult to assess at this stage because it’s so unpredictable, but there will probably be 15 or 16 teams eyeing up the opening game and thinking it could be the start of a successful campaign.

“There’s a real feeling of excitement, though, and I think everyone just wants to get the season started because from Saturday onwards, everything counts.

“It’s been a busy summer – as I expected it to be – and we were able to get most of our signings done before we went away to Spain.

"There will probably be 15 or 16 teams eyeing up the opening game and thinking it could be the start of a successful campaign."

John Mousinho

“We’ve worked hard to integrate them into the city and the club, as well as the way we train and play, but it’s been enjoyable.

“We know that teams come to Fratton and see Pompey as a real scalp, so that’s a challenge we have to face and we’re ready for what lies ahead.”

Rovers boss Joey Barton will be absent on Saturday as he serves a stadium ban, but Mousinho is expecting them to challenge at the top end of the table this term.

He said: “It’s a difficult first test against a side that have strengthened well over the summer – and they still have the reigning League One Player of the Season in Aaron Collins.

“They’re a real threat and a talented group who are not to be underestimated. We know they’ll want to come here and get a result.

“It’s obviously strange that Joey won’t be at the game, but I’m sure he’ll have put a lot of work in during pre-season to make them a solid outfit.”

Mousinho has almost a full squad to select from, with just one senior player currently on the sidelines.

He said: “It’s probably going to be a bit too soon for Paddy Lane after the ankle injury he picked up at AFC Wimbledon.

“But it’s more positive than we initially thought and we’re hoping to have him back out on the grass by the beginning of next week at the latest.”


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