Portsmouth winger makes bold claim ahead of Stadium of Light play-off clash against Sunderland

Portsmouth winger Ronan Curtis knows Sunderland will be out for revenge tonight but insists Pompey are the better side.

Saturday, 11th May 2019, 11:32 am
Sunderland host Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light tonight in the League One play-off semi-final.
Sunderland host Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light tonight in the League One play-off semi-final.

Sunderland host Pompey at the Stadium of Light tonight (KO 7.30pm) in the first leg of the League One play-off semi-finals.

Kenny Jackett's side have already beaten Sunderland 3-1 at home and won the Checkatrade Trophy final on penalties to give them the edge over the Black Cats, the two sides recently drawing 1-1 at the Stadium of Light last month.

Curtis is wary of Sunderland being out for revenge but insists the south coast outfit are the better team.

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"I think we’ve done an amazing job to come fourth," Curtis told the Portsmouth News.

"It’s been a season of ups and downs but now we play Sunderland.

"It’s a big ask and they are going to want to get one back on us. We need to be ready for that. That’s our mind set.

"We’ve met them a lot and I can see this being another end-to-end game.

"We’ve beaten them at Fratton, Wembley and got a good draw at their place.

"I can see it being another excellent game with our fans getting behind us.

"Who’s the better side? Us - we’ve got two over them already!

"We need to go there with the better mentality, work ethic and show up again.

"Anything can happen over the two legs but we’ve got confidence and are looking forward to it."

Curtis added: "We’ve handled pressure this season. There’s no doubt we can handle that.

"But I don’t feel like there’s nerves or butterflies. This will be the fourth time we’ve played them.

"We know what we’re good at and we know what they’re like. It’s going to be a fantastic game and I can’t wait.

"It’s a big ask for them because they are looking to bounce back and get to the Championship - but we want to get there.

"This season has been a dream come true for me - and topping it with promotion would make it even better.

"I’m ready for the game - and I can’t wait for it."

The second leg takes place at Fratton Park on Thursday evening.

Doncaster Rovers take on Charlton Athletic in the other play-off semi-final. The final is held at Wembley on Sunday, May 26.