Former Pompey target struggling to make Fratton clash

Reuben Reid is rated as a doubt to line-up against long-time admirers Pompey on Saturday.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 8:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:32 pm
Plymouth striker Reuben Reid Picture: Joe Pepler

The 27-year-old has been closely monitored by the Blues since Andy Awford’s regime, yet remains an important figure at Home Park.

A return of 41 goals in his previous two campaigns is inevitably going to attract serious interest.

Yet this term a succession of injuries have restricted Reid to 29 appearances and seven goals.

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A thigh problem has rendered him unlikely to face Paul Cook’s men on Saturday, having been unable to train all week.

Instead loanee Jamille Matt is expected to lead the Pilgrims’ attack, with ex-Pompey player Jake Jervis another option.

Regardless, manager Derek Adams is looking for his side to kickstart their promotion aspirations following a run of five wins in 16 matches.

And it’s a period which has seen them slump from the automatic spots down into fifth in League Two.

He said: ‘We are ready to go for Portsmouth. It’s a big game and we are all looking forward to it.

‘The players have motivated themselves. They know what they have to do.

‘I think it will be difficult to finish in the top three but it’s still very possible because we have got five games to go.

‘We have probably got the toughest fixtures of the lot, compared to the likes of Accrington and Bristol Rovers.

‘We just have to look at ourselves, go into the games and keep the performances going, and look to get the three points against Portsmouth.

‘At this stage in the season you want to win every game. If we do that, we will do really well.

‘Performance-wise we have done well lately. We just have to stop the errors.’

Saturday could attract Pompey’s highest league attendance of the campaign.

Plymouth are still selling their allocation of 2,800, while the sold out sides have been hung out in almost all the home sections.

January’s visit of Bournemouth in the FA Cup generated the biggest crowd of the campaign, with 18.901 present.

In terms of League Two, however, the best was the 17,840 when Oxford United ventured to the south coast.

Cook’s men lost that encounter through Jordan Bowery’s 76th minute goal.

And Adams is hopeful his team’s sizeable away following will also come away from Fratton Park wearing smiles.

He said: ‘It’s the two best-supported teams in the league.

‘I think from Portsmouth’s point of view they have got an average gate of 16,000, and ours is over 8,000, which is nearly 20 per cent up on last season.

‘We are delighted with the support that we are getting. It’s going to be a terrific occasion.

‘Portsmouth have got a very good fanbase but we will take a lot of supporters there Saturday.’