David Artell appreciates that his Crewe Alexandra side go to Fratton Park this weekend as massive underdogs against one of the pre-season favourites for promotion – but he says that if his side can play to their potential there is no reason why we cannot spring a surprise. It was something Artell and his Crewe team did achieve back in March 2017 when Pompey were gunning for promotion.
The Alex boss feels that his players have to embrace the challenge and frustrate what is going be an incredible backing from the home supporters, as they welcome fans back to Fratton Park after Covid.
Ahead of this weekend’s intriguing fixture, Artell told us: “We know it is going to be tough but it is also a good test for us. No-one is expecting Crewe to go to Fratton Park and get a result, so in that respect the pressure is off us.
“We will be going there though aiming to win. Why not? We did it four years ago when no-one gave us a prayer that day. We had come into the game on the back of losing 4-0 at Hartlepool and me warning the players that they could end up as milkmen if we slipped out of the EFL.
“Portsmouth were riding high then and were contenders for promotion and we managed to win the game. We rose to the occasion that day and we have got to try and do that again.
“I have experienced winning there as a manager and I would have thought we have a few of the senior lads, who have played there and got a result in the past. It will be tough but it is a good opportunity for us to surprise a few. “