Gaffer: Brett Pitman is no lord and saviour – but needs a Portsmouth run
Gaffer for a Day, James Ayles, aged 27, from Clapham, previews Pompey’s Fratton Park clash with Scunthorpe.
The big selection choice is Brett Pitman – and he did more than enough against Walsall to suggest he deserves extended game time.
Gareth Evans is a quality player and has been a really good servant but, like much of the team, seems to be running on empty.
This league is so attritional, you cannot pick the same side every week and expect wins and performances to continue, it’s not going to happen.
Pitman deserves a chance to show he can make a decisive impact.
Having said that, we have been winning without him in the team this season, so at that time couldn’t really justify him being in there.
He’s no lord and saviour, but a very good player. Pitman scored 25 goals last season and we didn't get to the play-offs, so to expect him and him alone to earn automatic promotion is a bit far fetched.
But he definitely has a role to play and arguably should have been recalled sooner.
I would name a side unchanged from the one which beat Walsall. That wasn’t the perfect performance by any means, but compared to those since Christmas it was a big step up.
Omar Bogle has impressed me when fit, it’s about getting him into the team and giving him a run to show what he can do.
Kenny Jackett is justified bringing him in. He’s mobile, scores goals and is a better finisher than Oli Hawkins.
With Ronan Curtis’ injury, like any team game there is now an opportunity for fringe guys to step up, particularly with ambitions of promotion.
Scunthorpe is a match we have to win, not only for automatic promotion but in terms of cementing our play-off place.
Jackett has received criticism from some, but this is the same manager who had us top of League One for three-and-a-half months. He is not a bad boss overnight.
We are progressing on last year, so that is a successful season. Anyone demanding we walk the league doesn’t really understand football at this level and what is required.
You have to take into account the limits of the club – and we have grown fairly well to this point.
Pompey (4-3-2-1): MacGillivray, Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown, Naylor, Close, Lowe, Pitman, Solomon-Otabor, Bogle.