Portsmouth coach Joe Gallen has fired a warning to “promotion favourites” Sunderland with the start of the League One season just seven weeks away.
The Black Cats host the south coast side on August 17 in what is already being described as a likely battle between the division’s top two sides.
And already Gallen has laid down a marker to the Wearsiders, who are leading the bookies as favourites to go up come May.
“The history is there now from last season with the two clubs, the sets of fans and big games we’ve played against them,” said Gallen, speaking to the Portsmouth News.
“They knocked us out of the play-offs and we feel like we owe them one and can go up there and get a win.
“One hundred per cent Sunderland, like last season, will be clear favourites to get promotion.
“We’ll be underdogs and Sunderland will be clear favourites to win the game again.”