Lalkovic: 4-2-3-1 is best way for Pompey

Pompey midfielder Milan Lalkovic Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Milan Lalkovic Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke has found himself back in familiar surroundings in the centre of defence in recent weeks  Picture: Joe Pepler

Back home – but Pompey defender would switch back

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MILAN LALKOVIC believes 4-2-3-1 is the way forward for Pompey.

The attacking Blues talent feels Paul Cook’s preferred formation is the right approach to get the best out of his team.

The Fratton Park boss started with Curtis Main as the focal point up front against Wycombe on Saturday, with three supporting players.

Pompey extended their winning run with a 4-2 victory to move up to second in the League Two table as a result.

There have been calls from some sections of supporters to use two strikers.

And Cook himself intimated he was prepared to go down that road in the build up to the Crawley game, before opting to use favoured system.

Lalkovic is certain that formation is the best option to go with the players at the manager’s disposal.

He views that as the foremost way to dominate possession and control the game.

‘It’s the best formation we have here for the players,’ said Lalkovic.

‘When you play 4-4-2 you don’t control the game as much.

‘You can say 4-4-2 is good when something is not happening or going wrong.

‘You can put two strikers on but you will then lose a bit of control.

‘Look, it’s not up to me to say but I enjoy 4-2-3-1. I think the other players do, too, and it’s the best way for us to go.

‘We are a threat. That’s why we play this formation, so why change it?

Lalkovic admitted he can see a time and place when it’s best to go with two strikers in a 4-4-2 formation.

He largely views that to be when teams are chasing the game.

But the Slovakian feels going down that road will have an impact on being able to dictate the action.

The likes of Lalkovic himself, Carl Baker and Gary Roberts have fitted well into playing 4-2-3-1.

Roberts is picking up the momentum which he struggled to find for much of last season.

Lalkovic highlighted how the Scouser provides the attacking support in the role Cook gives him.

He said: ‘You don’t control the game with 4-4-2.

‘There are plusses and minuses. The strikers are there but you don’t control it as much.

‘But it can help you win.

‘It’s opinions and stuff and circumstances.

‘If you are 1-0 down it might be the time to put two up front. It’s different.

‘Listen, the manager decides. He gets paid for that. We’re just here to play.

‘If Robbo (Gary Roberts) goes, he’s the number 10 and can go and basically be the second striker.

‘If you make runs sometimes you end up with a lot of players up front anyway.

‘As the gaffer has said many times, you can talk about formations but at the end of the day we are 11 players trying to win the game.’