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Beware of Pompey

21 February 2013

They will play without fear, says Gerrard

Paul Gerrard believes crisis-club Portsmouth will offer a bigger threat to Latics than many envisage.

Gerrard, a member of Latics' caretaker management team, says there will be no pressure on them at Boundary Park.

Pompey are bottom of npower League One and will be cut even further adrift when they have a ten-point penalty imposed for entering administration.

Gerrard said: "Pompey have drawn their last two games to stop the rot.

"They are probably playing without any fear as they know they are bottom and things are going against them.

"They will be a dangerous side as they can relax and play football with freedom.

"Just because they are bottom and things aren't going well for them this season doesn't mean it will be an automatic three points.

"We have to prepare right to give ourselves every opportunity to win the match as it is just as important as was Stevenage as we need another three points.

In their last two matches, Pompey have been involved in a goalless draw at Hartlepool  followed last weekend with a 1-1 draw against Carlisle at Fratton Park.

The threat they pose was also identified by Latics' player Paul Murray who scouted the game at his former club Hartlepool.

Caretaker Manager Tony Philliskirk said: "Paul told us they will be dangerous as they are playing with freedom.

"Without being disrespectful, they are probably thinking they are going down because they still have ten points to be deducted when they come out of administration.

"Paul said Pompey were much better than Hartlepool on the night and they played with freedom. The players are also playing for their futures because there are doubts whether the club will survive so they will be out to impress other clubs.

"They will be a dangerous team."

Philliskirk added Latics will have a different mindset after being underdogs against Milton Keynes Dons, Everton and Stevenage in their last three matches.

He said: "We went into each of those three games without anybody expecting us to take anything from them.

"Suddenly it has changed and people are automatically thinking we will win so the mentality has changed so we have to be careful it doesn't impact on the performance.

"We are not changing anything and will train and approach Portsmouth as we have done the other three games."

Philliskirk believes the players will view the Portsmouth game as a great opportunity to put further daylight between them and the teams below them in the league table.

The upheavals at Portsmouth have been such that only two of the side which played against Latics in September remain at the club.


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