Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Portsmouth V Boro; Fratton Park, Tomorrow 3pm

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Portsmouth V Boro; Fratton Park, Tomorrow 3pm

Article excerpt

Mowbray's message "THOMSON and Bailey are both chomping at the bit to get out there.

"It's been a long, long time for Nicky and this weekend I'm pretty sure he'll be involved in the 16. Kevin's back as well so with Adam Hammill coming we have some more options but we have to find the right formula to get the win.

"It's never easy at Portsmouth, they've got a tight ground with a great atmosphere. They''ve got a few problems with their financial issues and the deduction of points has put them in a perilous position. But they've still got some quality players."

Boro form guide BORO had looked to be regaining their pre-Christmas form until a 2-0 home defeat to Reading last weekend.

Before that Boro had barged back into the play-off frame with successive wins over Nottingham Forest and Millwall.

And away form had perked up a bit again too. After damaging back-to-back defeats at Blackpool and Coventry in January Boro have gone three games unbeaten on the road with a gritty FA Cup draw at Sunderland followed by a 2-2 draw at Leicester where they were pegged back late on and then the emphatic victory at the New Den.

Boro have won eight away games this year, the most in the Championship. The two previous terms that Boro did that - in 1992/93 and 1994/95 - they were promoted.

Beat the bookies WILLIAM Chrimes has teamed up with online betting exchange Betdaq to look ahead to Boro's game. He says: "Pompey have not won in five so Boro must see this as a good chance for three points.

"Boro were excellent in their last away game at Millwall and look a good shout to win again at about 6/4 on Betdaq.

"Marvin Emnes got the opener as these two clashed on the first day of the season and also got two at Millwall so backing him to open the scoring at 11/2 with Boylesports is advisable."

Opposition view ADMINISTRATOR Trevor Birch has promised troubled Pompey will turn out a side that is fully fired up.

Birch insists Boro will not find a side ready to roll over despite the financial woe at the club, saying: "Footballers can sometimes be a bit cynical but this bunch are very honest and you can see the effort they put in. I can't speak highly enough of them. I've been absolutely impressed by that. They are certainly not lacking in having the right attitude to ensure survival.

'Teams who come here are in for a battle. If they lose it won't be for a lack of effort and from what I've seen so far, it will not be through a lack of talent. We've got enough quality, in my opinion, to stay up."

Pompey form guide POMPEY were dumped in the drop zone by a 10-point deduction after going into administration for the second time in two years.

But they were already wobbling on the pitch before that. Pompey have taken just two points from the last five games won just one match in nine. …

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