Gaffer: Promotion is wide open - but creative midfielder in January would give Portsmouth a boost

Gaffer for a day Will Fisk, aged 29, from Crawley gives his pre-match thoughts on Pompey’s League One clash against Wycombe on Boxing Day...

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 4:30 pm

I want us to see us go on a long unbeaten streak.

Pompey are now second in the form table after the win over Ipswich and it looks a weak division this season.

Like a lot of people, I thought the Tractor Boys would be streets ahead at the start of the campaign but they looked very poor.

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Last season, Pompey and Sunderland were well fancied then Luton, Barnsley and Charlton came into it – I’m not sure if there’s one team as good as any of those five.

Peterborough are second on 36 points after 21 games. That was barely enough to be in sixth place last term and it shows how open it is for us to be promoted.

We have to be consistent over the Christmas period.

I’ve been to quite a few away games this season, including the 1-0 loss at Wycombe in September – the “We want Jackett out” game.

James Bolton is set to start for Pompey against Wycombe. Picture: Graham Hunt

They were the side who’ve impressed me the most. They were well organised and Gareth Ainsworth is very good at reducing games to 60 minutes when the ball is in play.

They’re good at making matches frenetic and fast-paced when on top but kill the momentum as soon as they see it shifting.

I thought Andy Cannon had a good game against Ipswich and Jackett made the right decision to take him off after 60 minutes when he started to tire.

I’d make one change, which would be James Bolton replacing the injured Ross McCrorie.

Being brutally honest, I’m not a massive fan of McCrorie. I went to Accrington and he looked lost in midfield where he appeared to be playing in a more advanced role than Ben Close.

It looks like right-back should be his future position, although we haven't solved that role since Nathan Thompson left.

Bolton made one good block when coming on against Ipswich, but got outmuscled by James Norwood a couple of times.

I’d personally like to see us sign a right-back in January, while a left-back is also key. We have lost two big players in Lee Brown and Brandon Haunstrup.

I know we’re after another centre-half but Christian Burgess and Sean Raggett looked good together.

More creativity in midfield is also needed – whether that’s a number eight or a number 10. Personally, I think Close has been our best midfielder but we do need a little bit more to give us a boost.

Will’s starting line-up

Craig MacGillivray, James Bolton, Christian Burgess, Sean Raggett, Anton Walkes, Tom Naylor, Ben Close, Ryan Williams, Andy Cannon, Ronan Curtis, John Marquis.