KENNY JACKETT has allayed injury fears over Conor Chaplin.
The Pompey boss explained the reasons for the striker’s withdrawal at Charlton was tactical.
And Jackett has stressed the need to clear the Blues’ treatment room to stiffen up competition.
Chaplin made his third start on the bounce in the 1-0 victory at The Valley, but was withdrawn at the interval.
Jackett explained that was in an effort to inject some pace into his side, as they searched for the three points.
He did that by throwing on Kyle Bennett to act as a conduit between his midfield and Brett Pitman.
Jackett said: ‘Conor was fine, but the way the game was going Charlton had come on to us.
‘I felt we needed pace in that number 10 position to run with the ball and get us up the pitch.
‘Conor is very adept and in and around the box he’s an excellent player.
‘But at 0-0 away from home at the start of the second half we needed a link, and we needed some one to give them a problem behind their midfield.
‘Quite obviously they’d push on us, that was obvious. It’s just the way things work out because they showed a desire to go on and win the game.’
Pitman gave Pompey an injury boost with his return to the starting XI against Charlton.
The club’s top scorer had missed three games with a hamstring problem.
But Pompey are still without Ben Close, Dion Donohue, Kal Naismith and Oli Hawkins.
Hawkins is missing with a hamstring injury, while Ben Close out with a thigh problem,
Donohue is struggling with a back issue, with a knee issue keeping Naismith on the sidelines.
Jackett added: ‘We need them to come back. We want to be as strong as we can.
‘For the likes of Oli Hawkins and Ben Close, they’ve been important players for us.
‘Kal Naismith in recent weeks and Dion Donohue are the same.
‘We’re looking for those players to get back and thicken us up.
‘If you look at our cup games we haven’t really had the luxury to change our players.
‘It’s been the same group so more cover and more competition will certainly help us.
‘That will provide an edge to the squad and 100 per cent help performances.’
– JORDAN CROSS