Pompey boss ready to take injury risk

PAUL COOK admitted Pompey have injury concerns going into the Plymouth play-off showdown.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 1:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 3:47 pm
Pompey striker Marc McNulty (hamstring) is winning his fitness battle    Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey striker Marc McNulty (hamstring) is winning his fitness battle Picture: Joe Pepler

And the Blues revealed boss he will be prepared to take a risk on team selection with the stakes so high against the Pilgrims.

Pompey have a host of fitness issues going into their biggest game in years at Fratton Park.

Marc McNulty (hamstring) and Kyle Bennett (ankle) are winning their battles to be available.

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They have trained along with Matt Clarke, who has been sidelined with a groin injury.

Ben Close also took part in a session at Fratton Park after limping off against the Cobblers.

Conor Chaplin is struggling with the knock which kept him out of the clash with Northampton. Adam Webster (ankle) and Ryan Fulton (hamstring) are also in the same boat.

That leaves Cook with some tough calls to make, but he feels a calculated gamble or two is worth taking.

He said: ‘We have got quite a few injuries at the moment. People know that. There’s a massive risk. Massive risk.

‘You don’t want to be putting lads on and taking them off after eight minutes.

‘There’s a risk to that. But, at this stage of the season, do you take risks or sit safe?

‘That’s the reason managers get paid.

‘You have to make decisions after speaking to players and knowing their character.

‘You may take one risk, but if you risk three or four you are gambling with the game.

‘I don’t think we’d gamble like that, but I would be prepared to take a risk or two. It’s the play-offs. You can get to Wembley. These are all factors you throw in.

‘There’s a million factors. But whatever team we put out will be a good team.’