Nathan hopeful of turning personal promotion agony into ecstasy with Posh, but he’s wary of Cobblers’ threat
Experienced Posh defender Nathan Thompson feels the time is right to replace the agony of previous personal promotion campaigns with the ecstasy of a top two finish.
The 30 year-old was an outstanding ball-playing central defender in Mark Cooper’s classy Swindon Town side that lost heavily to a Jermaine Beckford-inspired Preston North End in the 2015 League One play-off final.
And to compound Thompson’s disappointment he went off injured at Wembley after just five minutes with his team already a goal down.
And it didn’t get any better in two seasons at Portsmouth. Pompey missed out on the play-offs in Thompson’s first year at Fratton Park before losing 1-0 on aggregate to Sunderland after two dour play-off semi-finals in 2019.
“I’ve never quite managed to get a promotion over the line,” Thompson stated. “I’ve been involved in numerous close calls so it would be good to finally win one here.
“It’s great to be so heavily involved in a promotion race at this stage of the season. The lads are buzzing every day in training. The atmosphere around the place is fantastic. It’s a really exciting time, but it’s important we don’t get ahead of ourselves.
“It’s natural for players to be nervous at this stage of the season, so the experience we have in the side with the likes of myself and Mark Beevers will be important. We will offer everyone all the help and encouragement they need and hopefully we will be celebrating come May.”
Thompson scored his first Posh goal at Northampton in October. Posh ran out comfortable 2-0 winners then, but they are expecting a much tougher encounter tonight (April 16, 7.45pm) with so much riding on the match for both sides.
“I don’t get on the scoresheet very often so the away game was a good day for me,” Thompson added.
“But we parked that result a long time ago. We are just preparing for the next game in front of us and it’s bound to be another tricky one.
“It’s shows what a good place we are in when we can win 3-0 away from home (at Swindon last weekend) and yet come away disappointed not to have won by more. It was still a positive afternoon though. We’ve started a decent little run now and long may it continue, but we are at the business end of the season and every game is massive. If we do slip up now there isn’t a lot of time to recover and we would be giving our rivals a big lift.
“We will approach tomorrow’s game in a positive frame of mind like we have done every game recently. We will have the right attitude.
“Being in the thick of a promotion race with just six games to go is what you dream of at the start of a season, but we have to make it count.
“It’s just a shame there won’t be any fans in the ground tonight. The place would be bouncing.”