Danny Rose says he will be treating his meeting with the Cobblers at Fratton Park this Saturday as ‘any other game’.
The former Town midfielder played a key role in the second half of Sky Bet League Two title-winning campaign of 2016, even though he only made 15 appearances after signing from Oxford United in the January transfer window.
After helping Cobblers to the title, and seeing boss Chris Wilder leave for Sheffield United, Rose decided to leave Sixfields that summer and join Pompey.
He went on to claim a second successive league two winners’ medal with the Fratton Park club 12 months later, and is now a key member of a Portsmouth team threatening to put together a league one promotion challenge.
Rose still has a clutch of friends in the Cobblers dressing room, but he insists this weekend’s reunion is just another game, especially as he played in Pompey’s 2-0 win over Town in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this month, having missed the league match at Sixfields in September.
“I always look forward to seeing a few familiar faces, but at the end of the day it’s treated like any other game,” said Rose, who was Portsmouth’s best player in that win over Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s team.
“We’ve played them twice already this season, so it’s nothing special and hopefully we can get the job done.
“Our home form has been really pleasing over the course over the season and we want to back that up with another win to put pressure on the teams above us.”
A big crowd is expected at Fratton Park for the visit of the Cobblers, with more than 18,500 turning out for Pompey’s 2-1 Boxing Day win over AFC Wimbledon.
Rose admits that it wasn’t the prettiest of performances against Wimbledon, but he says that at this time of the season it is all about getting the result, and that is something they intend to do against the Cobblers on Saturday.
“It wasn’t a spectacle for the fans to watch in terms of free-flowing football,” said Rose, who scored one goal while at the Cobblers, the winner in a 1-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers at Sixfields.
“We tried to get the ball down and play when we could and I certainly thought we were able to do that in spells.
“But ultimately it was about getting back to winning ways after the disappointment of losing at Shrewsbury a few days earlier.
“We’re well drilled and organised. A lot of work goes on at the training ground to make sure we all know our shape.
“Being organised, resolute and keeping clean sheets – which we’ve done quite a lot recently – gives you a solid base to build on.”