Gaffer: Time to reunite Sean Raggett and Paul Downing in Portsmouth defence for the Accrington trip

Gaffer for a Day, Richard Brook, aged 46, from Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland, looks ahead to Pompey’s trip to Accrington...

Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:00 pm

Accrington is always a tough ground to go to, but one of those games if Pompey want to progress they have to win.

We haven’t done too badly in the last 10 matches, eventually Kenny Jackett has turned it around, and I would keep largely the same team for Saturday.

Obviously Christian Burgess is suspended, so Sean Raggett should come in, while I would favour one more change, with Oli Hawkins dropped.

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It was a good result against Peterborough, but Hawkins was at fault for both goals, so needs to come out for Paul Downing.

Downing looked like a pretty good player at the start of the season and, as there are no other choices at present, I would bring him back.

For me, Hawkins is not a centre-half. He may be useful in an emergency or if we are up against it bring him on to strengthen the defence, but that is not his position, as we found out last week.

You go with the tried and tested at the back now – then bring back Burgess for Downing when the suspension is over.

Sean Raggett

I wouldn’t change the rest of the team, even though I don’t see John Marquis as a solution to the number 10 position.

I’m not sure what has happened with him, he is prolific at this level, an out-and-out striker, but Ellis Harrison has done the business, so you can’t argue.

Maybe we could change the system, with two up top? Accrington normally go 4-4-2 so why not go like for like?

I have been surprised with Marquis, though. He puts the effort in so maybe it’s a lack of service – we are used to seeing him at Doncaster and being a striker who knows where the net is.

Gaffer for a Day, Richard Brook, wants John Marquis to form a two-pronged Pompey attack with Ellis Harrison at Accrington. Picture: Sean Ryan

I’m going for Pompey to win 2-1.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray, McCrorie, Downing, Raggett, Brown, Williams, Naylor, Close, Curtis, Marquis, Harrison.