Mowbray dismisses Pompey squad woes

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray
Matt Clarke has been named as skipper at Fleetwood tonight.

Clarke skippers youthful Pompey

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Tony Mowbray has dismissed Pompey’s squad woes.

Steve Cotterill’s men head to the Riverside tomorrow with the likelihood of being unable to fill their bench.

They currently have 15 players available for selection.

That includes rookie Ryan Williams, although Jason Pearce is suspended.

Meanwhile, Dave Kitson is battling to shake off a thigh problem.

Not that Mowbray feels any sympathy over Cotterill’s meagre squad numbers ahead of the Championship opener.

He said: ‘There’s probably a bit of kidology there.

‘I’m sure they’ve got young players around the building – development squads, youth team players – as we have.

‘It’s not for me to tell another manager what to do, but in that situation I would probably be putting some of my younger players on the bench.

‘If they’ve only got 15 signed pros then I’ve looked at their team and studied their team this week and they’ve got a lot of Premiership experience in those 15 players, a lot of talent.

‘They can only play 11 at any given time.

‘And I think they’ve got a pretty strong 11, as I think we have when everybody is fit.

‘Steve has had to settle the ship down and come through the other end, he did well last season.

‘It should be a good game.’