Keeper in line for emotional Pompey bow

Share this article
Matt Clarke leads Pompey out at Fleetwood. Picture: Mark Robinson

Pompey boss believes captaincy can improve Clarke

Darryl Flahavan is poised for an emotional Pompey debut at Vicarage Road tomorrow.

Jamie Ashdown is a major doubt for the Watford clash as he struggles to overcome a knee injury picked up at Leeds.

He didn't train yesterday and Steve Cotterill will leave it late before making a decision.

That could open the door for Flahavan to deputise, allowing him to follow in the footsteps of his late brother.

Aaron made 105 Blues appearances before his tragic death in August 2001.

Since Darryl's arrival in the summer, he has made three friendly appearances and has also sat on the Pompey bench regularly.

But tomorrow represents the opportunity to finally grab the start he


And that would mean a Flahavan in a Pompey first-team shirt for the first time since May 6, 2001, when Aaron was part of Graham Rix's side which defeated Barnsley 3-0.

Cotterill said: 'Against Leeds, Jamie got a smack on his knee in the first half and couldn't take his goal-kicks.

'He had to bite the bullet to get out the second half, he really did.

'No disrespect to Flavs, but I almost couldn't take him off. I needed three outfield subs because I knew I was going to have to use them and needed it.

'It was easier to say "Greg, you take the goal-kicks and Jamie you just catch it".

'Jamie is now a doubt for tomorrow and if he doesn't recover, Flavs will come in.

'When I brought Flavs in I told him I felt he would be a better number two and back-up than Liam O'Brien would be.

'We made a decision on 20 squad numbers at the time and which goalkeeper I wanted and he was the winner in that one for me.

'Instead, Liam got to take his career elsewhere and push on, hopefully, for him.

'Darryl Flahavan came in here as a number two – I told him this, there is no problem with it.

'I know about his brother being here but there will be no emotional decision attached to him playing here – absolutely 100 per cent.

'If he plays it will be because Jamie is not fit. If Jamie is fit, Jamie plays.'

Meanwhile, Cotterill expects Flahavan to remain on month-to-month terms this season.

He added: 'That probably helps the club financially at this moment in time.

'As for over and beyond, I've said I can't commit to anything else.'