Gaffer: The right playing style can see Portsmouth beat Luton

Gaffer for a Day, James Robbins, aged 24 from Petersfield, analyses Pompey’s visit to Luton tonight...

Monday, 28th January 2019, 4:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:31 pm
Gaffer for a Day, James Robbins, believes it is too soon to risk fit-again Nathan Thompson against Luton. Picture: Joe Pepler

This is going to be a really competitive game, but the outcome will depend on the style we play.

If we revert to the aimless hoofball which has dominated recent league performances then we haven’t got a chance.

But if we can get the ball on the deck and feed Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe, with Brett Pitman handed goalscoring opportunities, then that is our best chance of winning this match.

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At the other end, there have been some defensive errors for goals creeping into the team, so this is a test for the likes of Jack Whatmough and Matt Clarke as well. Luton will capitalise on those mistakes.

Just as long as the hoofball doesn’t return, we have a chance. Although I think it could be quite tight. I’m going for a 1-0 win to us.

I am optimistic because when Pompey have needed to step up they have, such as Sunderland, QPR and Norwich. When they have needed to perform they have.

Mind you, when they haven’t needed to perform they’ve been awful.

Following the signing of Omar Bogle, I wouldn’t throw him straight in, so Pitman keeps his place.

Oli Hawkins and Nathan Thompson are now back fit. If I had to risk one of them, it would be Thompson – but it’s too soon for either.

Thompson’s game management has been missing, while he is a bit more of a solid option in the right-back position than Anton Walkes.

He possesses experience at playing in big games like this and knows how to slow down moments of high intensity, getting a simple advantage is crucial.

Finally, I would keep Dion Donohue in the centre of midfield alongside Tom Naylor, his range of passing is good.

Although I am still a massive Ben Close fan, who has a lot of potential and needs opportunities.