Blues boss rocked by late injury worry

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Catlin: Pompey right to stay patient in player hunt

Steve Cotterill has revealed he is facing a secret injury worry ahead of tomorrow's clash with Scunthorpe.

The Blues boss hinted one of his players will face a late fitness test on the day of the game before a decision can be made.

And while Cotterill refused to identify the player in question, it's another illustration of the threadbare squad he is working with that the plans have been disrupted.

Cotterill said: 'We just haven't got enough. The squad is too small.

'We've got such a small squad that it's happened already this season – and it has done again this week – that people will miss training and are touch-and-go for the weekend.

'Every now and then, we get a few disruptive weeks.

'Unfortunately, we are in one of them and we have to leave it right to the last minute.'

The Blues boss has been delighted with his squad's spirit this season, believing their tight group has been galvanised.

But when injuries occur, it leaves them in serious trouble.

Cotterill said: 'There's a flip side to this. Everybody says when you've got a small squad it's easy to keep them together – yes, it is for sure.

'But what happens if three or four of them are suffering with their confidence?

'You are putting them on the team sheet but nobody knows that.

'Once they cross the white line, everybody thinks they are okay and they're normal.

'If something negative happens – a defeat, a poor performance or a goal going in against us – they can only look so far for help and it can drag them down just as quickly.'

While tomorrow's visitors are in poor form after five straight defeats, they have also picked up some impressive results this season.

Cotterill warned: 'They have lost five games in a row but you can look at it and think "they may not be high in confidence".

'That would be a potential positive for us where we are quite confident at the moment but not over-confident.

'The downside is that they could be that bit more determined and we've got to be careful of counter-attacks.

'Whatever front three they play, they've got a lot of pace up front.

'They are dangerous. We need to make sure that we are very aware of that.

'They are a counter-attacking side and they work very hard to get behind the ball.'

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