Pompey crave open Coventry game in bid for cup triumph

Amine Linganzi Picture: Joe Pepler
Amine Linganzi Picture: Joe Pepler
Ronan Curtis. Picture: Portsmouth FC

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Paul Cook is anticipating a change of footballing mindset as Pompey lock horns with Coventry City.

The Blues tonight face the League One outfit in the EFL Cup (7.45pm).

The encounter follows the frustration of being held to a home draw by Carlisle at the weekend.

Forced to defend for 63 minutes with 10 men, the Cumbrians couldn’t be cracked as they sat deep.

It was reminiscent of the approach applied by many visitors to Fratton Park last season, intent on a point.

Yet, previously under Cook, Pompey have played open, entertaining games against sides from higher divisions such as Bournemouth, Ipswich, Reading and Derby.

And the Blues boss is hoping for another enjoyable match of football for their Ricoh Arena challenge.

He said: ‘If you get two teams that want to go at each other, such as Ipswich away last year, you will leave the ground saying what a good game.

‘When you get games like Saturday where, with all due respect to Carlisle, teams don’t want to engage, it will always be frustrating unless you win.

‘At the minute that is the way it seems it is going to be for our season.

‘We don’t go to Ipswich and talk about getting the players behind the ball, that is for other teams, we want a game of football.

‘We’ve had good games against teams from higher leagues and I think tonight will be the same.

‘Coventry lost a couple of major loan players in Adam Armstrong and Jacob Murphy during the summer, but Tony Mowbray has done a fantastic job.

‘I personally think he is one of the brightest managers about, always playing the game in the right way, setting his team up to play good football.

‘And we will have our hands full tonight.’

Amine Linganzi and Liam O’Brien have arrived at Fratton Park on short-term deals and are in the squad.

Midfielder Linganzi will start, while former Pompey apprentice O’Brien is expected to be on the bench.

They will be among a number of changes anticipated by Cook.

He added: ‘We have a very strong squad and I will make a change or two.

‘If you are a supporter paying a lot of money to go, I don’t think you should get up there and be shocked we are not going to play the strongest team available.

‘I like our travelling supporters to be aware we are going to make changes.’