Keeper happy to use April defeat as motivation for Posh Test

CRAIG MACGILLIVRAY has admitted there will be an element of revenge on the players’ minds ahead of the clash against Peterborough United at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Darren Ferguson’s side effectively put the final nail in Portsmouth’s automatic promotion coffin last season with a 3-2 away win in April.

And the game eight months ago clearly still rankles with the goalkeeper, who is aware of the scale of the test against the side that currently sit in third place – four points ahead of Pompey.

“There’s no getting away from the fact that was a massive game for us at the time and it ultimately knocked us out of contention for the top two,” said MacGillivray.

“I suppose we can use that as motivation, while there’s also the chance to claw them back in the league.

“We know it’s going to be a massive test for us and we know we need to produce a decent performance to continue our good form.

“We’re 17 games into the league campaign and so it’s still relatively early days, with plenty still to come.”

Manager Kenny Jackett has told his players they can use the match-up with Peterborough as a test of their promotion credentials.

Pompey go into the game on the back of six successive wins in all competitions, a run that has turned their season around. A poor start to the campaign saw some fans turn on the manager and the players, but a win on Saturday could see Portsmouth move into the play-off places.

“It’s as big a test as you’ll get in this league,” said Jackett, whose side beat fellow promotion rivals Rotherham in their last home league game. “When they (Peterborough) get it right – as they do on many occasions – they’re a real threat.

“This will be a good barometer for us to see where we are against one of the best sides, who we all expect to do well this season.”

Pompey also face the current top two – Ipswich and Wycombe – in the next three weeks, a run of games that will go a long way to determining how successful their season will be.