Paul Robinson has been warned: You may have to wait to get your place back.
The on-loan Blues defender was sent off in last weekend’s FA Cup 2-2 draw with Aldershot Town and misses tomorrow’s trip to Plymouth Argyle as he serves a one-match ban.
Ben Chorley looks the most likely to replace him at the heart of the defence but Jack Whatmough is also pressing for a chance to partner Joe Devera after returning to full fitness following his recent hamstring strain.
Blues boss Andy Awford said: ‘Robbo is one of our leaders and we are without him for one game.
‘He has performed very well in the main for us.
‘Now it’s up to others to take their chance.
‘And there is no guarantee he will walk straight back into the team against Aldershot next week. If we get the performance we want from whoever comes in, they will keep the shirt – that’s football.’
While Awford gave nothing away on who would replace Robinson, he has a free choice.
He said: ‘Ben was on the bench and came on last week, while Jack didn’t quite make the squad.
‘Jack has had the hamstring problem relating to his back.
‘But he has trained all week and he is fully available. They are both ready, fit and available and we have no new injuries.
‘We will pick who we feel is right for that game.
‘I have confidence in all of them.
‘Any of the lads who have got squad numbers are more than capable of stepping into the situation that is required.
‘I have got no qualms about putting anyone in.’
Awford also revealed he’s spoken to Robinson about his dismissal.
‘I spoke to him about it on Tuesday,’ said Awford.
‘I think he got caught up with the emotion that we’d scored.
‘He wanted to get the ball back quickly and go looking for a winner but he had a rush of blood.
‘Once you have that yellow card, you’ve got to be careful and he wasn’t.
‘If it was Jack Whatmough or Adam Webster, we might say “he is young”.
‘But it goes to show senior pros have their moments of madness as well.
‘But I think he got caught up in the FA Cup magic and the Fratton Park atmosphere.
‘That’s a learning curve for Robbo.
‘Even at his age of 32, it goes to show we all still make mistakes.
‘I make them and everyone else does, too. We are all still learning.
‘But I won’t stop him doing that – that’s his game and that’s why he’s been so good for us.’