Dailly to help solve Pompey squad crisis

Christian Dailly is set for his full Pompey debut
Christian Dailly is set for his full Pompey debut
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

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Christian Dailly will tonight make his full Pompey debut as Steve Cotterill faces a squad crisis.

The Blues boss could have up to four players missing for the visit of Barnet in the Carling Cup.

Jason Pearce is suspended, while Hermann Hreidarsson and Tal Ben Haim are away on international duty.

In addition, Liam Lawrence may not be risked as he looks to recover from the hamstring/back problem which kept him out at Middlesbrough.

That would leave Cotterill with a squad of just 13 players to choose from.

The 37-year-old Dailly will definitely start, while Stephen Henderson is expected to be granted his Blues debut.

Rookie Ryan Williams may also be named in the line-up following his Middlesbrough cameo as a substitute.

In the meantime, Cotterill doesn’t expect any new faces ahead of tonight. And he declined to comment on reports of a loan move for Aston Villa midfielder Chris Herd.

In the meantime, his playing resources are stretched to breaking point.

He said: ‘It’s not about could Christian play? He might have to.

‘If you have a look at Saturday, we had four subs. Well, two of the team have gone on international duty (Hreidarsson, Ben Haim), so two have got to come from that four to replace them.

‘I don’t know if I will play Ryan. I like him, I like what he’s got, I would like to bring him through. But he has got to be dipped in, dipped out – it has got to happen that way.

‘As for Liam, we are going to have to wait and see. It wasn’t my dilemma to play him on Saturday, it was my dilemma to try him.

‘And that dilemma will still be there tonight. I have got to wait and see.

‘I don’t even expect any new signings to be there tonight. Although, in terms of new faces being in by the end of the week, I am hopeful.

‘Every player at this club at this moment in time is important to us. We have got to make sure we look after them with such a small squad.’

Dailly has been training with Pompey for a week having turned down a new deal at Charlton. The former Scotland skipper made 39 appearances in all competitions for the League One side last season.

And Cotterill revealed he has already made a favourable impression at Fratton Park.

He added: ‘Christian is a fantastic professional. He is not getting any younger, we know that, but it was nice to have another substitute on Saturday that I wasn’t worried about putting on.

‘He didn’t come on for long, but played at lot of last season at centre-back for Charlton.

‘The longer he is here will only enhance his credentials for keeping him longer. He will only do that because of the type of lad he is.

‘He is very good already. You can see it in and around the young pros, the way he is, the way he acts, the way he holds himself.

‘One thing is for sure, he will be a great ambassador for this football club.’