Portsmouth boss John Mousinho says Wanderers have “consistently been one of the best sides in the league”.

Mousinho, who guided Pompey to the title, was a guest in the Sky Sports studio as the Whites faced Barnsley at Oakwell.

The 38-year-old reckons getting players back from injury will be key for Ian Evatt’s men as they battle for promotion to the Championship.

He said: “I think they will definitely be frustrated (to have missed out on automatic promotion).

“For me, Bolton are a better side than they were at the back end of last year so I think that is certainly going to help them.

“They have consistently been one of the best sides in the league throughout and it is no surprise to me that they are right up there, they have been up there all season. We had a really tough job staving them off and making sure we kept them at arm’s length.

“I think Bolton are in really good shape and they have got pretty much a fully fit squad to choose from, some of the big players back. I expect them to be a real threat.”

Wanderers have a two-goal lead to take into the second leg at the Toughsheet Community Stadium, with a bumper crowd expected.

“It is going to be massive, that is the big advantage of having the second leg at home,” Mousinho continued.

“Bolton will be delighted with the result tonight and Ian still wants to win the game in front of their home fans.

“Their home form this season has been absolutely fantastic although there have been a couple of slip-ups in there - one notable one was when Carlisle went and beat them 3-1. There are vulnerabilities and I am sure Barnsley will be looking to exploit that.

“We were all talking in the studio about how we agreed with Ian’s assessment of the game – for large parts, Bolton were in complete control.”

Barnsley must now attack the second leg as they search for a way back into the contest, and Curtis Davies believes that will play to the Whites’ strengths.

He added: “They controlled most of the game. Other than that 15 or 20-minute period in the second half, they dominated the game.

“I know there was a lot of possession form Barnsley but other than the set-pieces and the mistake, there wasn’t too much to worry about.

“I think Ian will go home confident and know that Barnsley now have to come out to get the win.

“Playing over the lines, which isn’t really Bolton’s style, I think it will leave a lot of space for Dion Charles and Aaron Collins to get in behind.”