Pompey at full strength for Magpies visit

Paul Cook has been handed a clean bill of health ahead of Pompey's clash with Notts County (3pm).

Thursday, 20th October 2016, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:38 pm
Pompey full-back Drew Talbot

The Blues’ boss was able to welcome back injured defensive trio Drew Talbot (hamstring) Adam Buxton (ankle) and Matt Clarke (thigh) to his ranks this week.

Striker Noel Hunt (groin) has also resumed training with the League Two promotion-chasers as Cook weighs up whether to make changes to the side which drew 2-2 at table-toppers Plymouth last weekend.

A recall to starting action against the Magpies appears unlikely for the returning quartet.

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Regardless, it made for happy viewing for the Blues boss to see a full compliment of his players being put through their paces at the club’s Roko base in Hilsea.

‘It seems we have a clean bill of health – everyone has trained this week,’ said Cook.

‘Noel Hunt, Drew Talbot, Adam Buxton and Matt Clarke all came through training yesterday.

‘We are now in that unique position at the club where everyone is fit and available.

‘Obviously, the lads who were injured are a little bit behind in terms of being picked.

‘But at least they are fit and available so that is good news.’

Stuttering County visit Fratton Park with two defeats and a draw from their past three league outings.

Cook, though, will not be taking the Blues’ mid-table opponents lightly.

‘Every team offers challenges,’ he added.

‘You only have to look at the lads at the top end of their pitch – Adam Campbell, Jon Stead and Jonathan Forte to know they have got very good players.

‘John Sheridan is probably one of the better managers in the country at League One or League Two level.

‘They have got a very experienced manager.

‘They have got a strong club and good players so it will be a tough game.

‘But it is one we are really looking forward to.’