Gaffer: Pompey defender needs to return to centre-back

Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe Picture: Joe Pepler

O’Keefe: I’m up for Pompey’s midfield scrap

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Ryan Lewis, aged 20, from Paulsgrove, gives his verdict ahead of Pompey’s clash against Southend.

This is a fairly tricky game, but I’m going for Pompey to win 2-1.

That is purely because we are at home and usually create a lot of chances. We were unlucky against Bradford.

Besides, with Brett Pitman in the team we clearly have the potential to score.

Southend will bring a large away following, but we will be high on the back of that Blackpool win and confident of getting something.

There is a lot of talk about selection at the minute and I would restore Matt Clarke back to the centre of defence.

I just think Oli Hawkins has an error in him and Christian Burgess and Clarke complement each other very well.

Instead, Brandon Haunstrup should be recalled.

He is better attacking from full-back than Dion Donohue, who is better at defending.

In midfield, I would keep Danny Rose and Ben Close. The latter is definitely getting better, particularly since the Blackburn game, and was also one of our stand-out players at Blackpool.

He is comfortable on the ball, his passing is quite accurate, while Rose is our

best defensive midfielder.

For me, O’Keefe hasn’t shone so far and there are often gaps between him and Rose which the opposition have exploited

I would also retain Kal Naismith, along with Kyle Bennett.

Opponents have worked out how dangerous Matty Kennedy is.