PORTSMOUTH will need no extra motivation ahead of the visit of Oxford United tonight, according to Karl Robinson.

The U’s return to Fratton Park, four months after they edged past the south coast outfit in the Sky Bet League One play-offs.

The sides contested two incredibly tight games that left them locked at 2-2 on aggregate after 210 minutes of football.

Many of the Pompey squad that suffered play-off heartache remain at the club and Robinson believes they will see it as a chance for revenge.

United’s head coach said: “Their message is almost written – ‘they knocked you out of the play-offs and stopped you achieving your goals’.

“They’ll see that as the chance for a bit of payback.

“Their team will be hurting from the summer.

“I’m sure that’s going to have a key role in their thought process.”

The pair of 1-1 draws in the play-offs followed United’s first visit to Fratton Park last season, which produced the same scoreline.

The semi-finals came after the U’s and Pompey finished fourth and fifth respectively when last season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

But the two sides have been fighting at opposite ends of the table so far in 2020/21.

While United only moved out of the relegation zone thanks to Saturday’s 2-1 win at Wigan Athletic, tonight’s opponents are fourth and again pushing for promotion.

Only League Two side Cambridge United can match Pompey’s record of 25 league goals for the campaign in the top four divisions of English football.

Kenny Jackett’s men thumped Crewe Alexandra 4-1 on Saturday and Robinson knows United will have to be at their best to come away with a result.

He said: “I think they’re leading goalscorers in all four leagues.

“You have to respect that first and foremost.

“The games we’ve played against them have been incredibly tight and very difficult for both teams.

“When you look at their team, they’ve kept their better players and that’s a real positive for them. “

Pompey’s enviable attacking options were in full flow against Crewe, with top-scorer John Marquis adding to his impressive tally with his 11th goal of the campaign.

It means United’s defence will expect to have their hands full this evening and centre back Rob Atkinson is ready for a stern test.

He said: “If you flip it the other way and we’d been knocked out in the semi-finals we’d be itching to get back at Portsmouth.

“We can’t expect anything else than them being out for revenge.

“We’ve got to prepare the right way.”