Gaffer: I don’t go for this Pompey boycotting

Stuart O'Keefe.
Stuart O'Keefe.
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Gaffer for a day Basher Benfield, aged 53, from Copnor, gives his thoughts on today’s game.

I don’t go in for this boycotting talk – it’s utter rubbish.

You can guarantee there will be people boycotting who will want a ticket if we get to Wembley. The competition is much-maligned, but you have to support the team in my book.

There were 206 of us at Charlton for the last game, but over 3,000 going there next weekend. How many of those fans would want a ticket if we made the final?

I understand those who are opposed to the competition. I’m opposed to it myself.

No-one agrees with the changes which were made, but you have to support the team. It’s extra money and getting to the final would generate extra revenue.

We’re only four games from Wembley now and most of the under-21 sides have been knocked out.

The fact the game has been moved to a Saturday will bring extra people to the game, too.

I know people who are going who wouldn’t have gone in midweek, because they’ve got nothing else to do.

It’s looking like a strong team is going to be put out with the injuries.

So I can see a stronger team than normal, with the likes of Christian Burgess and Stuart O’Keefe needing the playing time.

I’m not sure how seriously Northampton will take it with their focus on staying in the division. Hopefully we can get two or three up and give a few of the youngsters a decent runout.