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Pompey aiming to strengthen not sell

Positive midweek results for both teams have added another layer of tension to Saturday`s big relegation battle at the Ricoh Arena where Coventry City host Portsmouth.

The Sky Blues, buoyed by their stoppage time equaliser at Cardiff City, lie three points from safety and could potentially be out of the relegation zone by 5pm with a victory.

Pompey however pulled off an astonishing home victory against Birmingham City to reignite hopes of staying up that looked to have been all but extinguished by the club`s ongoing financial problems and the resulting departure of a number of key players.

'confident'

Rumours still persist of deadline day loan exits from Fratton Park but manager Michael Appleton is actually confident of adding to his squad rather than losing any more players and is considering a deal for trialist defender Gabor Gyepes.

'Hopefully, that result (against Birmingham) has put players leaving to bed a little bit,` Appleton told The News.

'If there is a slim chance of staying up, keeping your best players at the club is going to be important.`

While is seems strange that Portsmouth can contemplate making a signing despite remaining in administration while the Sky Blues have a transfer embargo placed upon them, Andy Thorn`s men will also have to deal with the highly unusual situation this season of being favourites for a match, with the bookmakers offering as short as evens for a home victory.

Each City win to date has been hailed as a triumph of the underdog but for once we will be expected to make the running and come up with the three points that will rattle Bristol City among others as the relegation battle reaches its climax.

That is something they look more and more capable of doing as Oliver Norwood grows into his role as the key man in midfield and a goal threat begins to appear from other areas of the pitch.

'momentum'

One defeat in eight shows that some kind of momentum is with Thorn and his side and they will take great comfort from their home form since Christmas which has seen them lose just one game in eight.

Pompey too will be uplifted by their midweek comeback and will be backed by at least 1,000 fans but on the road this season they have won only twice, the second-worst record in the division behind the Sky Blues themselves.




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The Journalist

Writer: CCFC Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 22 2012

Time: 10:00PM

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