Bristol Rovers v Pompey: Gaffer for a Day

Kanu takes on Morten Gamst Pedersen.  Picture: Steve Reid

Pompey to meet Blackburn in different circumstances

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Sixteen-year-old Ben Sturt previews Pompey’s trip to Bristol Rovers.

Pompey have proven away from home this season they can turn up for the big occasions.

When you have seven points from a possible nine from Plymouth, Luton and Oxford United, that shows what you are capable of on the road.

All three of those should be competing with Pompey at the top end of the table considering the size of them – and next we have a trip to Bristol Rovers.

I would start Adam Barton in midfield after impressing me at Oxford, looking quite composed and keeping things ticking along.

He has just come back from injury and although didn’t make a positive impact kept things moving and looks a good player to me.

It’s a shame Michael Doyle is out suspended, it seems you can get sent off for only two challenges these days, and he is somebody who wins the ball 9/10 times.

The idea is Doyle is one of the holding midfield two who screen the defence, so home and away he has proven himself to be a vital player.

He has set the bar so high that the likes of Barton, Danny Hollands and Ben Close know they have to perform when called upon.

We’ve seen that in the cup games when squad players have shown their worth.

For tomorrow I would also bring in Matt Tubbs, with a midfield reshuffle seeing Gareth Evans left out and Adam McGurk dropping back into the attacking midfield three.

I thought he played quite well at Oxford when he came on and won a fair few balls in the air, which was surprising.

As we saw at Luton, he will be the right guy in the right place and if he does nothing this season but score 20 goals then who cares?