Blackpool v Pompey: Gaffer for a day

Olly Birch previews Pompey's trip to Blackpool in League Two.

Tuesday, 27th September 2016, 2:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:18 pm
Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler

In his early days, Paul Cook used to speak of not changing a winning side, but recently he has.

However, he must not tinker with the team tonight – it has to be kept exactly how it is.

The introduction of Conor Chaplin and Kal Naismith into the side has added that energy so desperately needed.

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We couldn’t get going at Accrington, with Kyle Bennett trying to slow it down, but the two changes on Saturday made us more direct.

Bennett is a bit of a luxury player who would do well in the Championship with more space, but Naismith adds height and a bit more physicality.

Our side looks a lot more physical than last season, which allows Chaplin to play up front on his own.

Chaplin, of course, also has to stay in the team – but with Cook you never know!

I rate Michael Smith highly and also rate Curtis Main, it’s about finding the right choices for the right match, but Chaplin needs to be given a run.

He scored in pre-season and for the reserves and now the first team, it’s not a coincidence these things happen when he is around!

I’m looking forward to watching Conor cause problems for their two centre-halves tonight.

At Bloomfield Road we need to carry on our home form, which is now in complete contrast to last term when we were very good on our travels.

I thought we had a solid enough game at Exeter and also the second half of Morecambe was good, but otherwise it has been disappointing and the players need to learn from the Accrington defeat.

Overall, team morale is better than last season, look at David Forde running the length of the pitch to celebrate on Saturday. I’m going for a 3-1 victory.