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Opposition profile: Portsmouth

Posted: Fri 29 Jan 2016

We take a closer look at our Emirates FA Cup fourth round opponents Portsmouth.


Nickname: Pompey 
Manager: Paul Cook 
Captain: Michael Doyle
Ground: Fratton Park 
Capacity: 21,063 
2014-15: 16th, League Two 
Current Position: 5th 

The Manager 
Paul Cook has given energy and enthusiasm to the Fratton Park hot-seat since taking over in the summer. The ambition for promotion has been clear from the outset, but after knocking out Championship side Ipswich in the third round, Cook is looking forward to hosting the Cherries in front of a sold out Fratton Park.

Speaking to the media prior to the game, Cook reflected on where the club are at the present moment: "We have had our issues but we have come out of that and are on our way back to where we feel we should be." 

When attention turned to his opposite number, Cook was not hesitant in his praise: "You cannot say he (Eddie Howe) is the best but you will do well to find people above him."

Last Time Out 
Portsmouth hosted Oxford in a crunch match in the race for League 2 promotion. 

In a very tight game it looked like it was set for a stalemate, especially after a fine double save initially from a penalty, by new Portsmouth loan signing Ryan Fulton. However, Oxford managed to net the decisive goal in the game with less than 15 minutes to go, through Jordan Bowery. 

The result leaves Portsmouth seven points behind Oxford in the third and final automatic promotion spot. 

One to watch 
Portsmouth signed striker Marc McNulty from Sheffield United on an initial two month deal to help bolster their attacking options. 

McNulty joined the Blades from Livingstone in the summer of 2014 and in his 51 appearances for Sheffield United he has netted 14 goals, although the majority of these games have been as a substitute. 

Since joining Portsmouth he has had his shooting boots on from the outset, firing seven goals in 14 appearances so far for the south coast outfit. This included a hat-trick against York. McNulty’s form over his two-month spell led to Paul Cook acquiring his services for the rest of the season as they look to make their charge for promotion. 

The Scottish striker has a good record in cup competitions throughout his time as a professional, scoring no fewer than 13 goals in his career to date. This includes scoring the winner for Sheffield United against Portsmouth’s rivals Southampton in the quarter-finals of last season’s League Cup. 

- Portsmouth have featured in five FA Cup finals, winning two (1939 and 2008) and losing three (1929, 1934, 2010)

- After winning the 1939 FA Cup, Portsmouth held the famous trophy for seven years, as the competition was not held due to the outbreak of World War Two

- They were knocked out by Birmingham in their defence of the cup in the 1945/46 season

- Alongside Manchester United, Portsmouth were the only Premier League team to not be defeated by Arsenal’s ‘invincibles’ of 2003/04

- Portsmouth won the only previous FA Cup meeting with AFC Bournemouth, a 5-1 win back in 1991