Halford gets green light to appear in opener

Greg Halford in action against Chelsea
Greg Halford in action against Chelsea
Dion Donohue Picture: Jason Chadwick

Midfield could be the home for Pompey signing-in-waiting

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Greg Halford appears to have shaken off a knee problem in time for him to play in Pompey’s first game of their US pre-season trip.

The former Wolves man picked up the knock in the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at the weekend but came through the squad’s first full training session in the States with no ill-effects.

Steve Cotterill’s men will face a Charleston Battery XI tomorrow night at the Blackbaud Stadium.

While the Blues boss will be keen to keep everyone involved, he will also want to start laying down plans for how his team will shape up for their first Championship clash of the season at Middlesbrough on August 6.

Liam Lawrence may get a run-out but did not join in with full training as he continues to recover from a calf problem.

Instead, the Republic of Ireland midfielder was put through his paces by medical staff while the rest of the squad took part in a Stuart Gray-led session.

Cotterill has suggested he is being cautious with Lawrence so he is unlikely to start him, but the Blues boss may well give him a run-out from the bench at some stage.

Kanu was the only member of the squad not involved at all in the first training session of the trip but he is expected to feature at some point.

Triallist Shavar Thomas will also play some part as Cotterill runs the rule over him.

The Jamaican centre-back, who has played exclusively in the MLS, arrived to join up with the squad on their trip in a bid to win a contract with Pompey.

Thomas has featured for Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wizards, Chivas USA, Philadelphia Union and, most recently, Sporting Kansas City.

But with Pompey well stocked for centre-backs at present, the 30-year-old will need to convince Cotterill he is a valuable addition to the squad.

Pompey are due to face the Charleston Battery first team next Wednesday, but tomorrow’s opponents will be made up of squad members and some of the talented college players who the US outfit are keen to look at.

Cotterill, meanwhile, will be using the fixture as another step in the squad’s fitness drive.