We take a look at the upcoming game against Portsmouth...
Tuesday evening's loss looks to be the fatal blow in the Gas' survival hopes, with many sides winning around them, the points gap and goal difference seems to insurmountable at this stage. Despite this, the Gas must now search for optimism to take into the next campaign, and Joey Barton will be asking his players to earn their place in his plans next season.
Joey Barton spoke to the media on Friday morning ahead of his side's early trip down to the south coast, check out what he had to say below...
Manager's Preview: Barton on Portsmouth
The Cowley brothers welcome the Gas to Fratton Park this weekend, and Danny Cowley caught up with Portsmouthfc.co.uk, discussing how his side will approach the game. On the Gas, Cowley said, “Both teams have got to win and the reality is that it’s now very difficult for them to stay in the division.
“But they’re a really good club and I loved seeing their journey back up from the National League with successive promotions.
“It’s been a tough season with three managers and that never bodes well, although Joey Barton is an incredible competitor.”
After an initial upturn in form under the Cowley brothers, Portsmouth have hit a bit of a speed bump in their hunt for a play-off place this season. Four wins from four looked to set a promising tone for the Cowley's stewardship on the South Coast, but a loss to Burton Albion prompted a downturn in results.
Since then, Pompey have drawn against Crewe before losing to MK Dons and Swindon Town most recently.
Ellis Harrison, Michael Jacobs and Jordy Hiwula have been ruled out by Portsmouth Manager Danny Cowley for the fixture.
Lee Brown is a possibility for the weekend after returning from injury, alongside Alex Bass.
For Rovers, Josh Grant has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Sam Nicholson, who had successful surgery on Tuesday, will also not feature for Rovers again this term. Joey Barton also revealed in his press conference that Jonah Ayunga would be out for the rest of the campaign too.
Both teams have scored in the past 5 meetings between the two sides.
Rovers are without a clean sheet in 10 games against Portsmouth, with Portsmouth scoring first in 9 of the last 10 meetings of the two teams.
The Gas are unbeaten in their last three games against Saturday's opponents, winning the reverse fixture between the sides back in January at the Mem.
Portsmouth are without a win in their last four games, that same run for Rovers stretches to three matches.
Pompey have gained 29 points at home this term, a tally that ranks them 15th in the division for points picked up on home soil and have scored 28 goals at Fratton Park.
Former Rovers striker Ellis Harrison has 4 goals for Portsmouth this season.
Thomas Bramall is the man in charge of Saturday's early KO. Bramall has officiated 30 games this season, handing out 71 yellow cards and 4 red cards. He was the referee earlier this season in our 1-0 loss away at Swindon. Back in the 2018/19 season, he was in charge of our 3-1 home win over Coventry, as well as our 2-1 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Bramall will be assisted by Christopher Wade and Greg Read, with Kevin Johnson taking up 4th Official responsibilities.
Rovers picked up all three points in their earlier clash with Pompey this season. In a game that showed great promise from Jonah Ayunga, the Gas were dominant against a Portsmouth side managed by Kenny Jackett at the time.
Jonah Ayunga notched two superb goals to take full points, you can watch the full recap below...
Match Recap - Portsmouth (H)
You can back the Gas to win with both teams to score at 12/1 odds, whilst Luke Leahy is priced at 8/1 to score at any time against Pompey.
To bet with Sky Bet please click HERE.
How to Watch
You can watch the Gas in action against Pompey from 1pm on Saturday with a £10 iFollow match pass, find details on how to purchase yours below...
iFollow Guide: Portsmouth FC
Around the Grounds
Rovers' fixture at Fratton Park is the only early KO across the division on Saturday. Keen interest will be in the fate of the trio of Rochdale, Northampton and Wigan. The Dale head to Crewe on Saturday, while Northampton are on the road at Gillingham, Wigan play host to Burton. Rovers will be looking for a positive result at Fratton Park and hope that the mentioned trio all fail to pick up points to keep their faint hopes of survival alive. At the top of the table, Hull head to Lincoln and Peterborough make the trip to the Valley.