Yeovil v Pompey: Gaffer for a day

Basher Benfield would start Michael Smith up front. Picture: Joe Pepler
Basher Benfield would start Michael Smith up front. Picture: Joe Pepler
Have your say

Basher Benfield, 52, from Copnor, looks ahead to tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Yeovil Town at Huish Park (7.45pm).

I was among the crowd for our lowest-ever attendance in this country against Oxford United in the Zenith Data Systems Cup.

And I was also at Bari when 1,000 turned up for an Angelo-Italian match in November 1992.

I’ve no idea how many will be there tonight but talk of boycotts is not going to stop me attending a Pompey match.

I don’t agree with Premier League under-23 teams being in the Checkatrade Trophy whatsoever, nor do I like there being group stages, it should be a straight knock-out.

But it remains a Pompey game and you have to go along and support the team.

I’m not into boycotting it and being some sort of martyr. What are those same people going to do if we get to Wembley? Do they suddenly want to attend?

We’ve actually been in worse competitions than this before such as the Full Members Cup, the Simod Cup and the Zenith Data Systems Cup.

I’d say let’s win this match against Yeovil and then use the £10,000 prize money to pay fines for the other games.

Besides, it gives match minutes to fringe players, which is useful considering we don’t have a reserve team.

I’m travelling up on Paul Banks’ coach and there are 15 to 20 expected to be on it, so there are Pompey supporters going along.

Looking at the team, most of it picks itself if Paul Cook is looking to rotate and give others an opportunity.

I would start Michael Smith and Noel Hunt but one should come off at half-time to give Conor Chaplin 45 minutes.

It would still be a fairly strong squad, it’s not like we are putting all our kids out like we did at Exeter last season in the JPT.

Basher’s line-up: David Forde, Ben Close, Adam Barton, Matt Clarke, Kal Naismith, Amine Linganzi, Gareth Evans, Ben Tollitt, Kyle Naismith, Michael Smith, Noel Hunt