Holmes learning from versatility

Ricky Holmes Picture: Joe Pepler
Ricky Holmes Picture: Joe Pepler
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He’s played on the right, on the left and as a wing-back.

Ricky Holmes joked he is now ready to answer the call to play in goal, if it comes from Andy Awford.

Holmes has been used in a number of different roles by the Pompey boss this season.

That has included an unaccustomed right wing-back job in a 3-5-2 formation.

Awford has used a 4-2-3-1 system in much of his time in charge, and opted for a 4-1-4-1 shape at Stoke on Tuesday.

Holmes promised he’s happy to play anywhere if it keeps him in the team.

He said: ‘I’ll do any job.

‘I haven’t played in goal and maybe I’m too short for central defence.

‘I don’t know what formation the gaffer is going to pick, I just hope I’m out there.

‘I’ve played the last couple – a rest normally normally follows that!

‘Further up the pitch is better for me, but if it’s a wing-back role I’m happy to do that.’

Holmes was given a tough test as wing-back at Oxford last week.

He was withdrawn at half-time as he walked a disciplinary tightrope after picking up a booking.

The 27-year-old explained it is proving an education for him.

Holmes said: ‘It’s a learning curve. If the gaffer sticks with that formation we’ll learn from it.

‘I came on against Cambridge and had to defend long balls, which was okay.

‘Then I got to attack against Northampton, because we had a lot of the ball.

‘Then I came up against a winger and full-back who were bombing on at Oxford.

‘I found that quite difficult. I was more right-back than right wing-back.

‘We didn’t use the formation in pre-season. It was 4-2-3-1.

‘But the system works and we seem to score goals.

‘We don’t know what is coming next but it keeps you on your toes and gets the best out of players. You can see that.’

Now Pompey face Newport County after making eight changes at Stoke on Tuesday night.

Holmes knows what to expect from the Exiles.

He said: ‘We had a great win at their place at the end of last season.

‘You know what you are going to get.

‘If we compete and stand up to the battle, our quality will come through.

‘We have fresh legs to use if the gaffer chooses to use them.

‘We had Dunney (James Dunne) and Nick Shorey stay at home Tuesday.

‘They are influential players having a rest, and then those coming in are showing them it’s going to be a battle.’