Morecambe v Pompey: Gaffer for a day

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Gaffer for a day Darren Cook previews the Morecambe v Pompey game.

If a fan had said that in five years time Morecambe would be a massive game you probably would have laughed.

Yet that is exactly what tonight’s game is.

We must win this match to stay in contention with the top three.

Encouragingly, there were a few good results for us at the weekend, such as Wycombe beating Plymouth.

However, we need to start winning our fixtures in hand.

We have never won at Morecambe before but possess the squad which is more than capable of bringing back three points – and that has to be our aim.

Looking at the team, I would like to see Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke keep their places in the centre of defence.

Along with Adam Webster, the three of them have worked well together in different combinations this season, which is great for Pompey.

But I do wonder whether Mick McCarthy would agree to Clarke remaining on loan if it meant him being on the bench all the time?

Similarly, Burgess was not signed for a transfer fee last summer to be among the substitutes. For me, those two have to play, and that is not taking anything away from Webster, who has been pretty impressive.

I would also keep Ben Close as Michael Doyle’s midfield partner. He was brilliant at Ipswich and it was great to see him given his chance against Bournemouth at the weekend.

The lad doesn’t look out of place considering he has not been part of it much this season and deserves a run.

I would bring Gareth Evans back in for Adam McGurk as well after being on the bench against the Cherries. He has been very impressive in recent months.