No excuses for Guy as Blues nears half century mark
It's 47 and rising by the game.
That’s the stunning amount of players Pompey have turned to so far in a season of chaos at Fratton Park.
Saturday’s clash with Hartlepool saw that number boosted by five.
Adam Reed, Shaun Cooper, James Keene, Frankie Sutherland and Yassin Moutaouakil were those new faces. Then there was Jed Wallace and Dan Butler making their full Football League debuts.
With three spaces available in Pompey’s 20-man squad and recent recruit Sam Sodje in the ranks waiting to be used, that number is certain to break the half century mark in the coming weeks.
It’s the sort of scenario any club would struggle to contend with ahead of a new campaign.
Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford are handling it in the midst of a League One season.
Many managers wouldn’t be shy in offering that up as an excuse for a poor run of form.
But Whittingham isn’t having any of that – his team simply have to get on with it.
He said: How’s the squad gelling? It isn’t yet.
‘When you have a position when loads of players come in you normally have six weeks of pre-season. We haven’t got that.
‘We can’t harp on about that, though, because that’s the situation we face. It’s as simple as that.
‘We’ve got game after game after game coming up. We have to get on with it.
‘There are a couple of places to fill which we will try to do still. Otherwise, we just crack on with it.’
Pompey will be aiming to make it a win at the 16th time of asking against Notts County tonight.
They will be doing so against a side with a formidable away record – although Keith Curle did suffer his first away loss since becoming Magpies boss against Leyton Orient on Saturday.
Whittingham will weigh up whether to continue with the wing-backs system he used against Hartlepool for the game.
His biggest concern is cutting out sloppy goals, though. He said: ‘I think the formation went okay on Saturday, but the goals we gave away has nothing to do with systems.
‘You can play 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or whatever it is, but it’s about heading it out of your box. At the moment we are gifting goals away.’