Gaffer: Pompey better with Close in the middle

Gaffer for a day Matt Reeder previews today's Scunthorpe v Pompey game.

Saturday, 23rd September 2017, 1:00 pm
Pompey midfielder Ben Close Picture: Joe Pepler

This is a really tough game against a physical team. Scunthorpe is not an easy place to go.

I was there for the 5-1 defeat under Richie Barker in 2014 when our fans cheered after pretending we had scored a goal.

It was real doom and gloom in that game and I’m hoping for something a lot better tomorrow.

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Certainly, I’ve seen some hope in each game this season and I believe Kenny Jackett is the kind of manager who can develop this team.

Having won 4-1 against Fleetwood, you would hope we can keep it going against somebody at the lower end of the table.

Instead, we have sixth-placed Scunny, which represents another test of our credentials of whether we have progressed that bit further each week.

In terms of team selection, you would expect Dion Donohue to come in for Damien McCrory at left-back. In fairness, he did quite well when he came on against Fleetwood.

I think it’s better with Ben Close in the middle. Adam May has done really well, but Close has that bit more experience.

Bringing in Oliver Hawkins is a consideration, but that would be really harsh on Conor Chaplin following last weekend’s result.

The only reason I would bring Hawkins in would be we’re away from home and it could be a battle against Scunny, you don’t want to be outmuscled.