Pompey v Hartlepool: Gaffer for a day

Christian Burgess Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Burgess Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ryan Briscoe previews Pompey v Hartlepool at Fratton Park.

This is a match we have to win – and I think we will.

I don’t see other teams above us dropping points at the moment, so we need to follow suit.

Against Accrington Stanley I thought we played well, perhaps the best performance we have put in so far.

I know there was the 6-0 win over York, but on Saturday we played the ball better and to a man put in a good performance.

Now, I am not the biggest fan of Danny Hollands, but last weekend was his finest display of the campaign and he deserves credit for that.

Looking at the side, I know it is the easiest option going with the same team, but it is what I genuinely feel is the best approach.

They all deserve to keep their places.

I know Paul Cook opted to rest Christian Burgess and put in Matt Clarke, but I would like that to stay the case against Hartlepool.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Burgess, but he has made a couple of mistakes recently and a few rash challenges which has cost us. Perhaps Clarke should now get another turn.

Up front, Caolan Lavery is available again and has been magnificent, but you are never going to drop Marc McNulty, who has been outstanding.

Kyle Bennett can have off-days but you can’t afford to leave him out of the side. Adam McGurk keeps scoring goals and Gareth Evans did well against Accrington.

When Gary Roberts gets back I don’t know what Cook is going to do because he has to play!

Regardless of what I think, I believe Cook will bring Burgess back into the centre of defence to partner Adam Webster.

This is a must-win fixture and I can see us running out with a 2-0 victory to keep the pressure at the top.