ANDY AWFORD will await the green light from Ben Chorley before finalising Pompey’s team to take on Hartlepool.
The central defender has yet to train this week having rolled his ankle late on against Wycombe.
Chorley is expected to return to training today, with the Blues to assess his fitness.
The final decision will be left to the skipper as Awford weighs up retaining three central defenders following the system’s impressive outing at Adams Park last week.
Joe Devera replaced Chorley as a substitute late on against the Chairboys and once again will come into the equation if required.
But Awford is confident the ex-Stevenage player will declare himself available.
The Pompey boss said: ‘It was great seeing Ben determined not to come off against Wycombe – that is what Ben is, he is a good character. I cannot comment on whether he aggravated it or not by staying on. Who knows?
‘He will let us know after training whether he is right or not and I expect him to be honest.
‘I think he will come out, strap it up and get on with it.
‘He has got to make that call himself this morning and, the type of person he is, if he is not right he won’t play.
‘I know he won’t try to kid anybody, he’s not like that, he is a very good professional. He does the off-the-field stuff as well as anybody here.
‘I have chosen not to pick Ben recently for selection reasons and he has missed a couple through injury as well.
‘So when he got his opportunity and it looked like he couldn’t see it through, he didn’t want to come off the pitch – and I would have been exactly the same.
‘Ben played very well in a good team performance, we defended well as a team. I thought we attacked well in the first half and defended well in the second, it was a real good unit.
‘Whenever we play three at the back we don’t let in many goals, we are quite tight.
‘But that is not just the three centre-halves – the midfield players have to put in a heck of a lot of work, too. to get out to the wide players.’
Chorley aside, there are no fresh injury problems for Awford as he prepares for the Pools’ visit.
Although, Awford is aware James Dunne is now only a booking away from receiving a two-match suspension.
Definitely missing is Paul McCallum, who still has the remaining six matches of his ban to serve, ruling him out of all February’s fixtures.
Meanwhile, Wes Fogden is to step up his comeback from injury on Monday in a behind-closed-doors match at Woking.