Gaffer for a day: Carlisle v Pompey
Pompey fan Bradley Saunders gives his thoughts ahead of the long trip to fellow League Two promotion contenders Carlisle.
It’s going to be a tough game.
I am not going up to Carlisle expecting anything.
I would be happy with a draw myself but we need to win really, it is a must-win.
Hopefully they will come and have a go at us.
I think when teams go toe-to-toe with us they don’t stand much chance.
We can outsmart and outrun them – we are the fittest team in the league.
But it all depends on what they do – we saw when they played us on the opening day of the season how well organised they can be.
They will be no pushovers.
We just need to take it a game at a time, though, like Cookie says.
Teams are always going to drop points in and around us so it’s not the end of the world if we don’t win.
But, obviously, it would be good for the confidence of everyone, including the fans.
The fans seem to get too low too quickly I think.
They don’t really think about the bigger picture – they just see that we have lost and think the season is over after one loss.
In terms of team selection, I’d like to see one change to the starting line-up.
I’d like Cook to drop Gary Roberts and bring in Kal Naismith.
I think it’s quite harsh he has dropped Naismith, who was playing out of his skin and then had one bad game.
He seems to be forgotten about all of a sudden but when he comes on he adds a bit of class and isn’t afraid to run at a player.
I’m also happy with Conor Chaplin being an impact player – I like Eoin Doyle and all of the work he does off the ball, which doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
Chaplin can be a secret weapon in the last 20 minutes.
Amine Linganzi is another I’ve been really impressed with – he’s added height in central midfield.