Pompey v Reading under-23s: Gaffer for a day
Steve Tovey, 57, from Fareham gives his thoughts ahead of Pompey's clash with Reading under-23s at Fratton Park...
This cup is a farce, it’s an experiment by silly people in the Football League who don’t know what they are doing. It’s a political tool.
They have ruined the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for lower-league clubs.
As far as Pompey are concerned, people have a right to protest, but the biggest protest should not be against this trophy – it should be for the Whole Game Solution.
That affects Pompey, whereas this trophy does not affect us, especially now B teams will no longer be allowed into any league.
Anyhow, this competition remains ridiculous. Reading under-23s can field who they like, whereas we will be fined for rotating the squad, it doesn’t make sense.
I will be attending, though, and was at the previous lowest Fratton Park post-war attendance – 2,318 in August 1993.
I don’t remember it being the smallest crowd, but as both my cousins support Bristol City and went with me to that match, it is ingrained in the brain.
I went to Yeovil in the previous Checkatrade Trophy, but I will go and watch anything. I have been to two youth games on the morning before Fratton Park matches this season – I just want to watch Pompey.
I don’t understand the protests and have already had this out with people. I respect their right to protest but they are protesting against the wrong thing. If it was a march against the Whole Game Solution then I would be there.
Tonight is just a game of football, the actual result is not a worry, this is nothing more than a friendly. It will give players a run out to get match minutes into their legs.
Looking at the players, I think Noel Hunt should be ahead of Curtis Main and Michael Smith – and I expect all to get the chance to play tonight.
My starting XI