Thompson: Pompey players have ability to adapt

Nathan Thompson played in midfield for last Saturday's visit of Scunthorpe
Nathan Thompson played in midfield for last Saturday's visit of Scunthorpe
Pompey target Mo Eisa, left, in action against Coventry

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Nathan Thompson believes Pompey’s players have swiftly adjusted to a ‘little bit of tweaking’.

And he is adamant they can cope with Kenny Jackett’s system change should it remain in place.

The Blues spent two days honing the 3-5-2 formation, before unveiling it against a surprised Scunthorpe last weekend.

Jackett had previously used the system for the opening 45 minutes against Rotherham back in September – before scrapping it at half-time.

Ironically, Rotherham are again on the agenda, with a League One trip to the New York Stadium tomorrow.

Following an encouraging 1-1 draw against the Iron, the 3-5-2 system may continue to be given an airing by Pompey’s boss.

Thompson is unconcerned over the team’s inexperience at operating within such a set-up for the Blues.

Instead, he is convinced the players possess the intelligence and professionalism to ensure they thrive under such new instructions.

He said: ‘During pre-season we played it a couple of times and then people came in and we found our form playing a different formation.

‘The gaffer told us that with the formation Scunthorpe play to go up against them – and we caught them by surprise.

‘During that first half they didn’t really know how to deal with it, so it’s important we are able to adapt our game to be able to catch teams by surprise.

‘In the build up we spent two days on it just to refresh, especially with new players coming in.

‘It’s about adapting to it as professionals, it’s just a little bit of tweaking by the management.

‘We are able to cope with that. You have a very capable bunch of lads here and when the manger says a certain tweak is needed you’re able to take it on board quite quickly.

‘No doubt we will continue to work on different formations for the season when required.’

Pompey face a Rotherham side sitting one point and one place below in the table.

Paul Warne’s side, who are also on a seven-match unbeaten run, could hand a full debut to new signing and ex-Blues striker Michael Smith.

Thompson, though, was impressed with how Pompey’s back three coped with Scunthorpe.

He added: ‘Oli Hawkins was brilliant, he stepped in there to look so assured in a vital position. It’s a massive quality to have.’