Bolton boss reiterates injury claim despite clear Portsmouth concerns as Port Vale youngster is wanted man

John Mousinho has said several key figures are 50-50 for tonight's game against Derby
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There's a huge clash at the top of League One tonight as Pompey host Derby County at Fratton Park. The Blues sit five points clear of the Rams at the top of the table, with one game in hand. But with only six games left of the season - including an away clash against Bolton - John Mousinho's side will be taking no risks as they seek to return to the Championship for the first time since 2012.

Ahead of the impending clash, here is the latest news from Pompey and their League One rivals...

Pompey promotion rivals on injury crisis

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Bolton boss Ian Evatt has praised his club's fanbase for the raucous atmosphere created during his side's 5-2 win over Reading on Monday. But he reiterated his belief that no other League One side has been impacted with injuries quite like the Trotters have in recent weeks.

"The crowd was amazing,” said Evatt after his third-placed side move to within eight points of league leaders Pompey following their win against the Royals. “It was so good to see not many empty seats and the atmosphere was great. The players wanted to respond to that and I think they did.

“We love playing here and we all love working for Bolton Wanderers. I can't emphasise that enough and we’re all trying our absolute best to get this club back to where at least it should be.

"We’ve had lots of adversity in the second half of this season. I don't see many other teams having the same struggles with injuries that we've had. We've been very unfortunate on that front but this squad of players keeps wanting to find a way to win and we've managed to do it. All we can do is take care of ourselves. Unfortunately, we're at a stage now where we are reliant on others. But at this stage of the season, under this pressure, it's tough and anything can happen in football."

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FYI, Ian. Pompey have had five players ruled out for the season through since the beginning of February, with Regan Poole out since November after picking up an ACL injury against Chesterfield in the FA Cup. Meanwhile, 12 first-team players were unavailable for Blues selection earlier this month injuries mounted up!

Port Vale star attracts Premier League interest

Manchester United are reportedly interested in Port Vale forward Baylee Dipepa (Manchester Evening News).

The 17-year-old has been in good form for League One side Port Vale this season, having only signed his first professional contract at the club in January. He has two goals, including a stunning solo shot against Bristol Rovers on Friday, and has been on flying form for England's U17 squad as well, finding the goal three times in the recent international break. With Manchester United's changing focus towards signing the brightest young talents, according to The Sun, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has highlighted the need for United to look towards signing the next Kylian Mbappe and Jude Bellingham rather than signing the already established talent.

It is claimed that United are keen to complete a deal soon for the young star but with Dipepa's current deal set to expire in 2026, Port Vale will not let him go lightly.

Pompey boss provides injury update

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Pompey head coach John Mousinho has provided Blues fans with some key injury news ahead of tonight's game against Derby at Fratton Park.

"There are a couple of players who are 50-50 after the Wycombe game", Mousinho said. "But nothing we want to name at the moment for obvious reasons.

“We’re looking more towards the Bolton fixture for Callum Lang because it’s going a bit slower than we initially hoped. Tom Lowery has trained over the past few days, although I think Tuesday comes too soon, while we had Tino Anjorin available on Friday, but didn’t want to risk him. Injuries are part of the game and you try to minimise them, but at the same time, I want my players to sprint, go into tackles and be fully committed."

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