Leyton Orient v Pompey: Gaffer for a Day

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Nicke Kabamba in action for Pompey against Cambridge. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 2 Cambridge 1: Picture gallery

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Ton Brooks, 42, from Fratton, looks ahead to Pompey’s trip to Leyton Orient.

Christmas is a very, very important time – the catalyst for our season.

For that reason, we must win all three of our forthcoming fixtures to push forward.

Leyton Orient, Luton and Crawley are beatable sides and with Caolan Lavery and Marc McNulty playing so well they continue to be a threat.

Talking to friends who follow Orient, their home form is not good and Ian Hendon’s side are there for the taking.

I can see us finishing top this season.

Paul Cook has brought what he needed into the club. He has that outside eye and reshuffled everything.

There are injury concerns over Michael Doyle and if he fails to make it then Ben Close should be given a go.

I saw him feature for our reserves last season and he could be the creative player we are looking for. He has always impressed me.

Adam Barton is too similar to Danny Hollands, while Nigel Atangana is hit and miss, he has good games and not-so-good games.

Regardless, Doyle would be a bad loss, he controls midfield, he is the general in there and hopefully he can pull through.

That would be my only change to the team which won 2-1 at Northampton last weekend, although Kyle Bennett needs to improve his game.

Ben Tollitt is pushing for a start and changed the game when he came on as substitute at the Sixfields Stadium.

The lad has a raw talent which needs to be harnessed, while has shown himself to be an impact player.

Bennett started his career here really well but has dropped off and needs to get his form back, particularly with Gary Roberts in the frame again.

Tony’s line-up: Brian Murphy, Ben Davies, Adam Webster, Matt Clarke, Enda Stevens, Ben Close, Danny Hollands, Gareth Evans, Marc McNulty, Kyle Bennett, Caolan Lavery

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