John Mousinho delivers 'excellent' Blackpool verdict and the threat they pose Portsmouth

Blackpool face League One leaders Portsmouth at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.
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Portsmouth manager John Mousinho has warned of the 'strong' threat that his side will face from Blackpool at the weekend.

League One's leaders are in town at Bloomfield Road on Saturday, and are on a nine-game unbeaten run. Pompey have one goal in mind and that is to get out of the division and they know just a few more wins coupled with defeats for those below them could see them seal a return to the Championship.

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As tests go this is the toughest one that Blackpool will face given the six-point lead Portsmouth hold over their automatic promotion rivals. The Seasiders themselves want to join Portsmouth in the second tier next season, but have an uphill battle to get in to the play-offs.

They are four points off of Stevenage who have a game in hand and must maintain their form if they are to have any chance of being involved in the end of season showpiece. Form is key at this crucial stage of the campaign, and now Saturday's opposition boss has delivered his verdict on Blackpool's season so far.

"I think they have in patches," responded Mousinho when it was suggested that Blackpool have been unable to maintain the level of the performance they did against Portsmouth.

"Maybe not throughout the entirety of the season, but certainly on their day they are an excellent side. I think Bolton went to Bloomfield Road a couple of weeks ago and lost 4-1. Blackpool have followed that up and they won away at the weekend.

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"There is plenty of talent in the side with a head coach that is extremely experienced at this level with taking Blackpool out of League One. A really decent outfit and littered with players that have played at this level and above. They've got plenty that are going to make them a strong side.

Asked if on their day can be a threat, Mousinho said: "I think any side in the league can. There's no side this year that we have faced that we don't think are a real threat. Blackpool are no exception, I think on their day they've got some really good players. We've got to make sure we prepare like we do for any game to try and get the result."

Earlier on in the season, Portsmouth's 27-game unbeaten run in League One was ended at the hands of Blackpool. Owen Dale before his move to Oxford United in January scored to haunt his former club, whilst Jake Beesley, CJ Hamilon and Albie Morgan were all on target. The result had Blackpool just outside of the play-offs on the virtue of goal difference and six points off of Pompey at the time, there is now a 20-point gap between the two sides 17 matches on.

"We deserved to lose the game," admitted an honest Mousinho.

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"I thought Blackpool were better than us on the day. It probably wasn't quite a 4-0'er, I think we had a couple of good chances early on but Blackpool took hold of the game. I did think the game did change on the second goal and it was a strange decision at the time when the lad was clearly offside ended up poking the ball in the back of the net, the referee and linesman had no interest in even looking at it.

"I thought that changed the game at the time and also the red card. To be honest I have no issue with the result, Blackpool were much better than us but the game did change on a couple of small moments. We know we've got a tough task ahead of us."

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