Buoyant Holmes revelling in Pompey form

Ricky Holmes. Picture: Joe Peplerv
Ricky Holmes. Picture: Joe Peplerv

Bubbling Ricky Holmes toasted a fourth straight Pompey victory and insisted: I don’t want the season to end.

The in-form winger was once again among the Blues stars as they defeated Bristol Rovers 3-2 on Saturday.

The result lifts them into 14th spot, more importantly positioning them seven points above the relegation zone.

It was not as fluent a performance as the previous three victories under Andy Awford, with the Blues surrendering the lead against The Gas twice.

Nonetheless, goals from Adam Webster, Ryan Taylor and a match-winner from substitute Wes Fogden capped another confident display from Pompey.

Belief is now oozing through Awford’s men who require just a point at Northampton to be sure of remaining in League Two.

And a smiling Holmes is loving his football once again now the Blues have rediscovered their enjoyment out on the battle ground.

He said: ‘I don’t really want the season to end now.

‘But it finishes in three games and we’ll come back fitter and stronger, I am sure.

‘We got the win eventually and are probably safe now.

‘The thing about Bristol Rovers is they make you defend. It feels like you are always under pressure but really it was just a long ball.

‘You have got to defend that and we were breaking on them – but at home ideally you want to be in their half.

‘As soon as they get it they lump it into yours and it feels like you are defending constantly, that was their tactic and it was working first half.

‘But in the second half we got to grips with it and battered them really.

‘The first-half was even – we had a couple of chances and they had a couple of chances – but in the second-half we won it and won the game.

‘Once we got the third goal you could see that belief and confidence running right through the team.

‘I suppose we were a bit naive when it was 2-1 to us and we conceded straight away, that is when you have got to shut up shop for five minutes and get to half-time.

‘But we got the win and fully deserved it.’

Pompey can afford to lose at Northampton today (3pm) and still preserve their Football League status.

Defeat for Bristol Rovers or Wycombe would mean they cannot catch the Blues.

Relegation-bound Torquay are already out of the equation as far as the Blues are concerned.

They now cannot match their points tally.

As far as today’s fixtures go, Rovers are at home to third-placed Rochdale, while Wycombe are away at fourth-placed Fleetwood.

Of course, their progress will be irrelevant if Pompey get at least a point from Sixfields.

Holmes added: ‘We are not mathematically safe but there are a lot of teams between us and the bottom two so I doubt we’ll go down, but you never know.

‘You can’t say you are safe until the points are done so we’ll go to Northampton and get three points and we can say we are safe.

‘A draw will also be enough – but we’ll go there and I believe win.’