Portsmouth manager praises "really good" Derby County ahead of first vs second clash

Portsmouth vs Derby County kicks off at 8pm on Tuesday 2 April
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Derby County face arguably the toughest game of the season this evening as they make the trip to Fratton Park to face Portsmouth.

Pompey are currently five points ahead of the Rams with a game in hand and have had control of the top spot in League One for the majority of the season.

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Portsmouth have won three games in a row and are unbeaten in 13 games, the best team in the league.

Pompey's manager John Mousinho was quick to praise Derby and Paul Warne ahead of the game. "Everything about this next match sets it up to be a brilliant occasion and Derby are in some really good form." He told Portsmouth FC's news feed.

"All games feel like the biggest one of the season at the moment, although there’s added intensity with this one. It’s first versus second, it’s under the lights and it’s live on Sky Sports.

"Our opponents have a side that’s littered with Championship quality and a head coach with experience of getting out of this league, so we expect another tough test.”

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The last time that Derby faced Portsmouth was at Pride Park back in September when the two teams drew 1-1 in what was a closley fought battle between two promotion favourites.

Mousinho's side are at a point in the season where a couple more wins could give them promotion to the Championship after six seasons in the third tier.

The Pompey boss said that his players will relish in the excitement, he added: "There’s been that pressure and expectation to be competing at the top of the league and we’ve managed that.

“We need to keep our feet on the ground and approach each test as just another game, with the opportunity to collect another three points.

“But it’s also useful to have a bit of excitement, while not getting carried away, to increase those inspiration levels."

Derby County vs Portsmouth kicks off at 8pm this evening.