Gaffer for a day: Pompey v Rochdale

Gaffer for a day Stuart Hardman would start Jack Whatmough in defence Picture: Neil Marshall
Gaffer for a day Stuart Hardman would start Jack Whatmough in defence Picture: Neil Marshall
Brett Pitman picked up a broken nose when scoring Pompey's opener against Fleetwood on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey bravery has seen many wounded refuse to quit action

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Have your say

Gaffer for a day Stuart Hardman previews the Pompey v Rochdale game.

It’s a new season and a fresh start, with Kenny Jackett as manager and Michael Eisner the owner.

It would be great to put on a show for the Eisners, but please don’t put on a shirt! They’ll be watching this new acquisition so let’s get off to a good start and maintain that.

Tornante need to be supportive towards Jackett and to invest in the infrasture, including the Academy. We currently operate at Grade Three and need to stop losing players to them down the road.

On the pitch, I would expect a top-eight finish, which I certainly don’t believe is unreasonable.

We may be missing a midfielder, but with recruits like Brett Pitman and Luke McGee we have the chance.

In addition, there’s still that buzz from last season, while we possess a manager who is hopefully less divisive than his predecessor.

As regards the team, Jack Whatmough should be given the nod ahead of Tom Davies to partner Christian Burgess in defence. Jack is a better all-round player and needs to be handed the opportunity to prove his worth.

Davies has not filled me with confidence in that role, although I have not seen him during the pre-season.

Obviously, Jackett is looking to bring in a midfielder, but in the meantime let’s give Ben Close a go, he has always impressed me.

Michael Doyle could be static last season, but with Danny Rose and Close you’ll have two box-to-box players with goals in them.

Finally, I would include Milan Lalkovic. I know he destroyed Newport Isle of Wight, who are a non-league team, but he has talent.

He just needs to apply himself a lot more. If that can happen then we have a player who can supply the ammunition to Pitman.