Gaffer: Northampton clash is a must-win game

Pompey forward Oli Hawkins
Pompey forward Oli Hawkins
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Gaffer for a day Spencer Green previews today’s Pompey v Northampton game.

This is a must-win game. Northampton are in the bottom four and we must create momentum after the slip-up at Shrewsbury.

These are three points for the taking and we have to score at least three goals.

I was visiting relatives on Boxing Day so missed the win over AFC Wimbledon, but would make one change.

Conor Chaplin must come out of the starting line-up. I don’t rate him at all, he is an impact sub at best and not a starter.

Instead, I’d recall Oli Hawkins and put him up front with Brett Pitman. He is not a centre-half and is better up front, knocking the balls on and being the man in the box to threaten aerially.

We actually need some pace up front, somebody like Jamal Lowe, but a consistent goalscorer. Not that I’m knocking Lowe, he is fantastic.

The team is still searching for that number 10 and it means Kenny Jackett doesn’t quite know his best XI.

Kal Naismith is still sidelined, which is a shame as he is a playmaker who can inject a bit of pace.

He is capable of producing that moment of magic when needed, such as Paul Merson or Robert Prosinecki.

I am a fan of Kyle Bennett, who has his doubters, but he is hit and miss.

As for people criticising Pitman at present, I admit he looks 39 not 29 when running around – but the stats don’t lie and he is our main outlet for scoring goals.