Stanley Aborah’s arrival has given Pompey’s squad a lift.
That’s the message from Blues skipper Michael Doyle ahead of tomorrow’s crunch clash with fellow League Two promotion-contenders Carlisle.
Aborah linked up with Paul Cook’s men last week as a free-agent acquisition – after parting ways with Notts County.
The versatile midfielder, though, was not involved in the Blues’ squad for last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Barnet.
Ruled short on match practice, Cook elected to keep the Ghanaian-Belgian behind with an eye on including him in his Brunton Park plans.
The signs are that Aborah has responded well to the additional work at Pompey’s training ground and is very much part of the Blues boss’ thinking, heading into their Carlisle showdown.
For new team-mate Doyle, the 29-year-old’s arrival has provided a welcome competitive edge.
He said: ‘It gives everybody a lift.
‘It’s more competition for everybody.
‘It’s one of them where the way we try to play should suit his game.
‘It ups training when there’s more competition for places.
‘There’s nobody injured, there’s nobody tight.
‘Everybody wants to play.
‘If you pull up with a niggle for a week or two you might find it very hard to get back in.
‘That’s just the way it is.
‘That’s what you want – there’s not enough of that in football I don’t think.’
With Aborah likely to take his place on the bench tomorrow, it will be Doyle looking to control the tempo in a pivotal clash in the promotion race.
Quite what to expect out of the third-placed hosts, though, remains up for question as fifth-placed Pompey look to close the gap.
Doyle said: ‘You never quite know what you’re going to face.
‘They have had a really good season and I’m sure them being at home – they have beaten Doncaster recently and teams like that – they are going to bring it to us.
‘I can’t imagine them sitting on the edge of their box as another roadblock for us to try to break down.
‘I doubt it will be one of those games.
‘But if it is, we are still going to try to break them down.
‘We are still going to try to win the game.
‘We are not going to sit off or play for a point.’
– JEFF MARSHMAN