The football season has entered October – and finally the destiny of clubs is becoming clearer.
That is the verdict of Paul Cook, who is convinced League Two is starting to take shape.
I don’t particularly look too far ahead with fixtures, that’s the God’s honest truthPaul Cook
Now 10 matches in, the contenders and strugglers are beginning to emerge as the table settles down.
Pompey themselves are presently third, having been knocked off top spot following defeat to visitors Exeter City on Tuesday night.
Cook’s side have the opportunity to reclaim their place at the summit when they entertain 22nd-placed Yeovil Town on Saturday.
In the meantime, they sit behind Wycombe Wanderers and Plymouth Argyle having reached October.
Handily placed to press for promotion following effectively 21.7 per cent of the campaign gone.
Cook said: ‘The league table has now taken shape.
‘If you look at the teams they are probably starting to settle, although any type of run will have a bearing on the league, whether good runs or bad runs.
‘Our run has been quite consistent – mainly draws and wins – so there has been a consistency about us.
‘Other teams may have not done well for a couple of games and will bounce back but the league is starting to take shape. Newport got their first league win of the season last weekend and all of a sudden more wins put them right in the pack.
‘So there is nothing to be gained, nothing to be lost, back-to-back wins for any team will alter any situation you are in.
‘The volume of games remaining says you will have that opportunity.
‘We have put ourselves in a really good position – now the challenge is there for our team to take advantage.
‘Once you get 70 points they reckon you can get in the play-offs, once you get about 80 they reckon you can get promoted.
‘I think you can look at a mountain and think “how am I going to climb it?”.
‘Well, just take your first steps and keep going, if the points keep coming they will get us to where we want.’
A busy October sees Pompey presented with six fixtures, starting with today’s visit of Paul Sturrock’s side to Fratton Park.
That consists of trips to Cambridge United, Newport County and Notts County, with Yeovil, Stevenage and Mansfield visiting Fratton Park.
On paper it represents a good run of matches for the promotion chasers, not that Cook is particularly studying.
He added: ‘I don’t particularly look too far ahead with fixtures, that’s the God’s honest truth.
‘If you asked me, for example, who we are going to play in November I wouldn’t know, just keep taking them as they come.
‘You can only be disappointed. We expect to be promoted, the quicker we can get promoted the better, why hang around?
‘This is the same if you get to March and April and people say “it’s a big game today”.
‘Well, it’s the same game you get in September-October but now in March-April it is considered a big match.’