Boss faces tough midfield call

On-loan winger David Cotterill

On-loan winger David Cotterill

Kal Naismith was gaffer for a day Phil Whyte's man of the match against Cambridge United. Photo by Joe Pepler

Pompey 2 Cambridge United 1: Gaffer for a day

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Steve Cotterill has told tomorrow’s odd man out: Your chance will come again.

With Liam Lawrence having recovered from a recent calf injury, the Blues boss has a tough selection call to make for the trip to the Madejski Stadium.

Lawrence, Jonathan Hogg, Hayden Mullins and David Nugent all look certain to keep their places, which leaves a straight choice between Joel Ward and David Cotterill as the fifth midfielder.

Cotterill got the nod to start at the Walkers Stadium for the 1-0 win over Leicester, with Ward coming off the bench as a second-half substitute.

But Ward could be recalled to central midfield, allowing Lawrence to revert to a position on the right flank.

While the Pompey boss refused to name his choice, he revealed he has already picked his team.

He said: ‘I’ve made my decision already.

‘It’s tough on the person who will be left out but it will only be game by game.

‘The good thing is we’ve got a few flexible people there now and it really does help us – it’s such a boost for me to have that.

‘Yes, there is going to be someone disappointed but he might not be disappointed next weekend or the weekend after.

‘Right now it isn’t about the individual. It’s about what we might need at any God given time.

‘But for sure, it will be tough to leave someone out.’

While the Blues boss admitted there was little he could do about the timing of the international break. He believes it came at the right time for his men.

He said: ‘You can’t pick and choose when you have these breaks. Whether you want a break or you don’t, you’re having one.

‘We got the win last time, embraced it and had that feelgood factor for two weeks.

‘Sometimes you get a really good win like that and people ask if you want to carry on with the momentum.

‘But I think we had had enough games. The trouble we had was it was the same players all the time.

‘I just think we needed a break – everyone needed to clear their heads.

‘Last week was shut-down time for them. It was time for them to have a little break.’

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