Pompey plan friendly tests

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POMPEY are planning to arrange a string of friendlies to solve their fringe-player conundrum.

Blues boss Paul Cook revealed a high-profile clash with Liverpool had been lined up this month.

Pompey coach Ian Foster

Pompey coach Ian Foster

That was due to be played at the Hawks’ Westleigh Park home but fell through, much to the frustration of the Pompey coaching staff.

The manager is concerned about the lack of first-team minutes younger members of his squad are picking up.

With the reserve team being scrapped in the summer, one solution is seen as lining up friendly games.

Cook said: ‘It’s tough. It drives me mad that Saturdays come up and lads can’t play.

It drives me mad that Saturdays come up and lads can’t play.

Paul Cook

‘Fossie (Ian Foster is doing his best trying to arrange some games to play.

‘So we’re trying to arrange games.

‘We’re on to that and hopefully we have a game or two coming up.’

Cook admitted some frustration at the Liverpool game biting the dust.

Much has been made of the number of promising youngsters emerging in the Pompey senior ranks.

Cook felt taking on a powerful Premier League side with a host of exciting talent would have been the ideal yardstick for his players.

‘We had a game against Liverpool called off, which was disappointing to say the least,’ said Cook.

‘That would have been a good game because it would have been a good gauge for our young players.

‘We would have been able to test ourselves against Liverpool’s elite and learn from that

‘We would have seen, good or bad, how it was.

‘It could have been “ours are alright” or “we’re getting excited – we’re not as good as we think”.’