Pompey take on rock-bottom Hartlepool United at Fratton Park tomorrow with Andy Awford under huge pressure to deliver a win in front of the home fans.
Andy Awford may name an unchanged side from the team that earned a creditable goalless draw at Wycombe last weekend as Paul McCallum serves the second of his seven-match-ban. Ben Close has been loaned to Poole Town.
Pools manager Ronnie Moore may hand starts to his two loan signings in striker Marvin Morgan from Plymouth and centre back David Mirfin from Scunthorpe. Stuart Parnaby is still out with a knee injury.
It has been said many times already this season but tomorrow's match against the worst team in the entire Football League is the biggest in Andy Awford's managerial career so far.
His team have not won a match in nine, a run that stretches back to November 22nd and should they fail to beat the Moneky Hangers then there is surely no case for keeping him on as Pompey manager.
Fans have called for a "wall of noise" to greet Hartlepool much like last season when Andy Awford's first home match in charge saw Adam Webster score in the first minute and an early penalty saved as a rampant Pompey put the opposition to the sword that day whilst backed by a vociferous home crowd.
As much as the sentiment is nice, the only way the crowd will truly get behind the Blues tomorrow is if Awford's men replicate that same performance from last season, which they are capable of doing given the amount of chances they created at Wycombe in the first half last week.
Awford is likely to pick the same side that drew with the Chairboys for that reason and so it's imperative that Josh Passley and Dan Butler continue to add to the attack down the wings and produce some decent crosses for the front men. Matt Tubbs had plenty of chances to open his account for Pompey so surely tomorrow is the day where he finally breaks his duck?
Hartlepool may be seven points adrift of safety but they won't give Pompey an easy game and have shown signs of life in the last few weeks having taken 7 points from 12 and shown a massive improvement in performances on the pitch.
The main concern for Pompey is that Ronnie Moore's teams love to play a direct style of football and are useful at set-pieces and are therefore bound to cause Pompey some problems. There's also the worry that Pompey's wing-back formation will be cancelled out should Hartlepool play the frustrating game and sit back and let Pompey try and break them down through the middle of the pitch, another area where Awford's team have struggled this season.
However, the Monkey Hangers are bottom of the league for a reason and there should be enough quality in the Portsmouth team to beat them and the draw at Wycombe should have also added some confidence to the side. They just need a goal from somewhere to get the ball rolling again. Literally.
Andy Awford simply cannot afford to not-win this match. A draw isn't much use given how some of the other teams at the bottom of League Two have improved whilst a defeat is unthinkable.
But even if Pompey do win tomorrow, there is still plenty of work to be done in a month which will go a long way to determining Pompey's future as a Football League club.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Paul JONES
RWB: Josh PASSLEY
CB: Ben CHORLEY
CB: Jack WHATMOUGH
CB: Paul ROBINSON
LWB: Dan BUTLER
CM: James DUNNE
CM: Danny HOLLANDS
CM: Jed WALLACE
CF: Ryan TAYLOR
CF: Matt TUBBS
GK: Scott FLINDERS
RB: Michael DUCKWORTH
CB: Scott HARRISON
CB: David MIRFIN
LB: Neil AUSTIN
CM: Matthew BATES
CM: Aaron TSHIBOLA
CM: Michael WOODS
RWF: Marvin MORGAN
LWF: Jonathan FRANKS
CF: Scott FENWICK
Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Hartlepool United 0 (League Two - 05/04/2014)
Adam Webster scored in the first minute of Andy Awford's first home match in charge having taken over from the sacked Richie Barker. Ryan Taylor's early penalty after that goal was saved but Pompey produced a performance well worthy of victory as the club began their climb up the League Two table.
Pompey fans may make a noise early on but unless the players deliver on the pitch that noise could turn to nerves or worse should Hartlepool get the upper hand. However, now is a better time than ever to think positive and Pompey have a good chance of bagging their first win in over months tomorrow.
Portsmouth 2 Hartlepool United 1