John Mousinho provides Portsmouth injury update ahead of Bristol Rovers and reveals admiration for Joey Barton

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John Mousinho will consider freshening up his match-day squad as he prepares for his first managerial head-to-head with Joey Barton on Saturday.

The Pompey boss has huge admiration for the job the former Newcastle and QPR midfielder has done during his time at Bristol Rovers.

And while that will have no bearing on his selection this weekend, Mousinho admitted the Gas and their manager deserved the utmost respect.

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Both Jay Mingi (knee) and Clark Robertson (groin) are yet to feature for the new Fratton Park head coach, but mostly recently travelled with the squad to Accrington on Tuesday night.

Joe Pigott’s three-match ban presents the opportunity to include at least one of them, or Denver Hume, on the bench.

Mousinho was keeping his cards close to his chest on what he might do on that front.

When asked about the latest injury situation ahead of the game, he said: ‘No new injuries at all at the moment.

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‘We’ve got a clean bill of health since Tuesday night and for all of the travelling fans they will have seen Jay and Clark out there in the warm-up.

From left: John Mousinho, Joey Barton and Jay MingiFrom left: John Mousinho, Joey Barton and Jay Mingi
From left: John Mousinho, Joey Barton and Jay Mingi

‘They travelled with the squad and are in an around the place and they’re both fit and available for selection.’

But when it came to speaking about Barton, Mousinho was full of praise for his opposite number’s record at the Memorial Stadium – in particular, he’s ability to get Rovers promoted at the first time of asking following their League One relegation at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Speaking to The News, the Pompey boss said: ‘I think he (Barton) has done an excellent job, if you look at where they were at the beginning of last season. Bristol Rovers were really struggling for form having been relegated the season before.

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‘There can be a huge hangover from those relegation seasons, there’s a lack of confidence in the club and general malaise sometimes sets in.

‘So to get them promoted straight away was a really good achievement. They’ve just rolled on since then.

‘They’ve kept going and have given a couple of sides recently (tough tests). They’ve beaten Oxford, they’ve drawn with Barnsley – and we know how good Barnsley are – and I think they were unlucky the other night not to get a point against Wycombe.

‘So, yeah, we know they’re a really good side who have consolidated their position and I think he’s done an excellent job.’

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Rovers go into Saturday’s game 14th – nine points below 10th-placed Pompey in the table.

Mousinho added: ‘I think Bristol Rovers are an excellent side. I think they’ve done very well since coming up last season.

‘They’ve solidified their place in League One, which is credited to any side that’s come up from League Two.

‘They’ve got some threats, some real attacking threats in their side with the likes of Scott Sinclair, Ryan Loft, Josh Coburn, John Marquis, Aaron Collins – goals from everywhere really.

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‘They are an attacking threat, they like to get the ball down. But on the other side against Wycombe the other night, they don’t mind being a bit more direct. They can cause a lot of problems doing that.

‘So, overall, it’s going to be a really tough test, especially at their home ground, where they do tend to sell out and it’s a difficult place to go and play football.’