Left-side shout is tricky for Pompey boss

Dan Butler. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dan Butler. Picture: Joe Pepler
Wigan boss Paul Cook celebrates promotion. Picture: PA

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Andy Awford has a tough call to make over choosing his left wing-back against Mansfield Town.

The Pompey boss is set to return to the 3-5-2 system which has been his settled formula in the league tomorrow.

And that will pit Dan Butler against Nicky Shorey for a starting berth against the Stags.

Shorey got the nod at York last weekend in the 0-0 draw and has been ahead of Butler for most of the season.

But the 20-year-old has been in the starting XI for four of the past five Pompey games.

And defender Paul Robinson feels it’s a tricky shout for Awford to make tomorrow.

‘It’s not an easy one for the manager,’ said Robinson.

‘Nicky has great experience. He has a lovely left foot on him and you know what you are going to get week-in, week-out.

‘Dan has done well when he’s played. The manager has a tough decision to make between them on the left-hand side.’

Robinson has been impressed with the quality shown by Butler in his recent run in the starting line-up.

He knows missing out at York last weekend would have been tough to take for the Isle of Wight player.

But the Millwall loanee would expect no different from him.

Robinson said: ‘Dan has done brilliantly and taken his chance really well recently.

‘He works really hard down that left-hand side.

‘I’m sure he would have been a little frustrated to be left out at York but that’s football.

‘You’d be disappointed if he wasn’t. But he’s done really well when he’s come in and credit to him.

‘He’s a good, hard-working lad with a bright future.

‘He has to stay patient and keep doing the right things.

‘That will then show in his performances when he plays.’

Robinson, as an elder statesman in the Pompey squad, has been happy to pass on his wisdom to Butler.

It’s a stance not always echoed by experienced pros with younger players.

He said: ‘I like to pass on my experience where I can.

‘I like to pass on my advice and tips.

‘It’s important for senior pros to help the ones below you out.

‘You have to have belief in yourself and be able to do that, in my book.

‘We need to be able to create the next wave of players.

‘Helping each other out and improving where you can will keep the club in very good shape.’