Kenny Jackett on how Checkatrade Trophy triumph could give Portsmouth the edge over Sunderland in promotion race
Pompey, Sunderland and Barnsley are all battling for the second automatic promotion spot - with runaway leaders Luton looking set to seal their long-awaited return to the Championship.
And while the Black Cats are seemingly in pole position - holding two games in hand on their rivals - Jackett believes that Pompey’s triumph at Wembley could prove the catalyst for a late surge towards the top two.
“It definitely will,” he said, when asked is success would aid their promotion push.
“We’ve always said that wanting to get promoted is our priority, and similarly we had a very good FA Cup run.
“We’ve had eight games in the Checkatrade Trophy, resulting in a fantastic day for us when you see the support all the way through the game.
“Then you see the scenes at the end and it had caught the imagination, obviously because of the size of the two clubs and the attendance as well.
“Hopefully it’s an experience that we can use positively to help us to win the big prize which is promotion.”
There is still a chance that Jackett’s side could face the Black Cats at Wembley once more before the end of the campaign - in the League One play-off final.
Jackett is hopeful that his side won’t have to rely on the end of season lottery, but knows that Portsmouth’s triumph at the national stadium would have no bearing on any future meeting with Sunderland.
“You’ve got to say it’s very close,” added the Portsmouth chief.
“There’s only point between the clubs over basically an eight-month period, so that shows how close it is.
“We’re a point ahead and they have a couple of games in hand.
“Sunderland have a very good squad and are very talented, and it’s a one-off game today.
“I do believe that if there is another game in a couple of months, that would be a different day.”