Gaffer: Incredibly harsh if Portsmouth drop Ben Close and Ellis Harrison against Tranmere

Gaffer for a Day, Ian Chiverton, aged 36 from Godalming, previews Pompey’s clash with Tranmere.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 8:00 pm

I’ve noticed quite a heated debate developing on social media about whether to drop Ellis Harrison in favour of bringing John Marquis back in.

Well, I would keep an unchanged side.

It would be harsh to omit Harrison after two goals against Birmingham in the Carabao Cup, while we can still bring Marquis on from the bench.

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Ben Close, left, celebrates with Lee Brown following the midfielder's midweek goal against Birmingham. Picture: Barry Zee

As for Ben Close, he must start ahead of Ross McCrorie, despite the Rangers man back from a one-match ban.

Close has definitely won me round. When he first came into the team I wasn’t his biggest fan, he would get rid of the ball as soon as he could and I didn’t think was able to change matches.

Now he can produce any moment of brilliance – and what a fantastic goal on Tuesday night.

Dropping him would be incredibly harsh, although Kenny Jackett doesn’t really care about sentiment, he will just pick his best team!

We should definitely be targeting three points from this – it would be very Pompey if we lost it.

I hope not, Saturday will be the first Pompey men’s game my son William is attending, he is nearly three and will be in the Milton End, so all four of the Chiverton family will be present.

And I’m going for a 2-0 win for Jackett’s side.

Pompey: MacGillivray, Walkes, Downing, Burgess, Brown, Naylor, Close, Harness, Cannon, Curtis, Harrison.