Pompey v Scunthorpe - preview

Tom Alsop. Picture: Neil Marshall

Alsop: Best is yet to come from Hampshire

Steve Cotterill will be forced into at least one change to the side who beat Norwich last weekend.

Greg Halford is suspended for one game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

But Carl Dickinson returns from a three-match ban.

That should see Joel Ward shifted over to right-back, with Dickinson on the left.

Both Michael Brown and Richard Hughes are available to play one more game each amid their contract issues and one will play, while the other will not be included in the squad.

Defender Joel Ward said: 'We've had two great wins against Swansea and Norwich. They've been fantastic for us.

'The gaffer emphasised to us that this was a massive month.

'He told us we needed to climb the table and close the gap between us and the top six.

'It's just about working together and being disciplined.

'That's what we've done in the past two games.

'We made sure that we're all in the right positions – that's something we've worked on over the past couple of weeks.'

Scunthorpe continue to be hampered by defensive injury problems as they attempt to end a run of five-successive defeats.

Central defenders David Mirfin (foot), Michael Raynes (thigh) and Niall Canavan (knee) all remain on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, on-loan left-back Jim McNulty returned injured to parent club Brighton this week.

Elsewhere, Freddie Sears will continue to lead the attack, despite having failed to score in nine games.

Ex-Blues striker Paris Cowan-Hall could make the bench.

Defender Michael Raynes said: 'The home form has let us down. Away from home we've been spot on mostly, but at home we are looking to turn it around as soon as possible.

'The boys know that and we're trying to put it right every game.

'We've not had the rub of the green, chances haven't gone our way but it's just one of those things. We try not to worry about it too much and when the next game comes we're looking to put it right.

'There are some frightening teams in this division, but if we can get on a bit of a run we can finish anywhere.'