Pompey ready to go again with league openers

Paul Cook is set to keep faith with the side that started against Carlisle last weekend Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook is set to keep faith with the side that started against Carlisle last weekend Picture: Joe Pepler

Kal Naismith was gaffer for a day Phil Whyte's man of the match against Cambridge United. Photo by Joe Pepler

Pompey 2 Cambridge United 1: Gaffer for a day

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PAUL COOK is set to keep faith in his league starters at Crewe.

The Pompey boss has indicated he will go with the same starting XI which appeared against Carlisle as they head to Gresty Road tomorrow.

That means the Blues are likely to continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation employed in the opening two games of the campaign.

With an intense period of fixtures at the start of the season, Cook feels Pompey will be utilising all of their squad in the coming weeks.

He said: ‘We like to think we’re detailed in what we do.

‘If you look at the rest of this month, we have 19 days in which we have to go to Morecambe, Crewe, Yeovil and Exeter.

‘The journeys can take it out of you so there’s a lot of planning going into our team selection.

‘I’m delighted with how the lads performed last Saturday – and the likelihood is there won’t be any changes this Saturday. I’m delighted with the squad.’

The Blues made 11 changes for the EFL Cup trip to Coventry on Tuesday night.

And that is likely to be the same for the club’s EFL Trophy obligations on the horizon.

With a senior squad of 29 players to call upon, the challenge will be to keep those on the fringes of Cook’s side happy in the coming weeks.

But with the fixtures coming thick and fast, he feels there is going to be ample opportunities to do that.

The manager said: ‘We are a big club and we must function like a big club in relation to what we’re trying to achieve – that’s getting out of this division.

‘By the time we play Yeovil away we’re coming back to play Wycombe and Crawley at home. We’ll play the lads who aren’t playing at Yeovil.

‘We know the games which are important to us.

‘Look at the games this week. It’s the first round of the League Cup and teams are celebrating like they’ve won the World Cup.

‘You could highlight teams like Yeovil and the fixtures they have to play.

‘It’s a long, long season for us. The plan is for us to be celebrating at the end of it.’

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