Gaffer: Portsmouth squad has strength to cope with absences against Shrewsbury

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Gaffer for a day Paul Whiteaway, aged 51, from Fratton, gives his pre-match thoughts on Pompey’s clash against Shrewsbury...

We should win this considering Shrewsbury’s lowly placing, but these are still early days, of course.

The Shrews have lost their manager and a lot of players from last season, but as a Pompey fan you are always worried about a team who haven’t won coming to Fratton!

The confidence is there, though, and the squad is so strong with plenty of options.

Last season, we would have been in trouble trying to cope with three injuries and an international call-up. Not any more.

With Ronan Curtis out, Andre Green should come in and I would be interested to see him play. 

He has not come from Aston Villa to sit on the bench and is an ideal replacement for Curtis. Alternatively, Kenny Jackett could bring in Ben Close and push Gareth Evans into a more advanced role.

However, I think he’ll bring in Green on this occasion.

With Oli Hawkins missing through injury, Brett Pitman deserves a chance again and you cannot discount his goals last season.

I know Jackett wants more from his front player, but Pitman reminds me a bit of Glenn Murray at Brighton. He doesn’t have the pace but knows how to play off defenders.

Having Ben Thompson in midfield is probably better for Pitman, he is more of a ball-playing midfielder. Millwall’s midfield must be very good if he can’t get into it.

Hawkins played well on Saturday and come on loads during the past 12 months.

Using his physical strength, he is so much better than he was. He just needs a bit of composure in front of goal.