Michael Smith poised for Pompey action at Hawks

Pompey front man Michaael Smith Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey front man Michaael Smith Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Evans: Player talk has lifted Pompey form

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Michael Smith is pencilled in to make his first Pompey pre-season appearance tomorrow night.

Paul Cook’s side face the Hawks (7pm) in their traditional summer friendly.

It represents the Blues’ third match of their League Two build-up, having already played Sligo Rovers and Bohemians.

Yet Smith was absent from last week’s tour to Ireland, remaining at home to receive treatment on his calf.

It was a minor problem, but Cook’s desire for the injured players to remain behind dictated the issue.

However, Pompey are hopeful their summer recruit from Swindon will now be able to feature against Lee Bradbury’s side.

Curtis Main is another who could make his comeback, having been struck down with a groin complaint in Ireland.

Similar to Smith, his absence from the opening two friendlies has been precautionary rather than anything serious.

And that puts the pair in the frame to potentially partner each other in attack at Westleigh Park.

For tomorrow evening’s friendly, Cook is contemplating experimenting with tactics as he prepares for the campaign ahead.

The Pompey boss has already admitted he may opt for a 4-4-2 diamond system in home fixtures, while retaining the 4-2-3-1 on their travels.

Cook largely opted against tinkering with his formations during the two matches in Ireland.

However, that was largely influenced by having Conor Chaplin as his only fit striker in the 23-man squad for the week-long stay.

Carl Baker, who spent a spell up front against Bohemians, and Milan Lalkovic are other striking options if two are to be employed.

– NEIL ALLEN