Portsmouth boss mulling over two-pronged strike force against Bristol Rovers

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Kenny Jackett is weighing up unleashing a two-pronged attack at Fratton Park.

For tomorrow night’s visit of Bristol Rovers, Pompey’s boss is mulling over retaining the 4-4-2 system which worked so effectively for large periods against Southend last weekend.

Omar Bogle operated in a twin strikeforce with Oli Hawkins at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

Omar Bogle operated in a twin strikeforce with Oli Hawkins at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

It was only through the enforced substitution of the injured Omar Bogle on 75 minutes in favour of Gareth Evans when the formation changed to a 4-2-3-1.

At the time the scoreline was 3-1 in the Blues’ advantage – the match finished 3-3.

Bogle is presently regarded as 50/50 to feature following the dead leg sustained in Saturday’s encounter.

And Jackett believes there were encouraging signs of the loanee clicking with Oli Hawkins as a new-look strike pairing.

Jackett said: ‘We went 4-4-2 on Saturday and it was certainly an interesting start to the game, but not enough to get us through.

‘Bogle came off with a dead leg, hopefully he is okay for tomorrow night and can come through. He was just limping slightly, something which was a consequence of a tackle.

‘He and Oli up front together were fine, both good individually as well. For Oli, it was also nice to get on the scoresheet.

‘There’s no reason why they cannot continue partnering each other up front, they are good enough players, strong enough lads.

‘For some periods of the game they can work together. I don’t know about all the time, it very much depends whether they can maintain running power because big men like that usually play in bursts, but there’s no reason why not.

‘If you have big players generally you need a mix to such power in your team, the right balance of athleticism and pace around them.

‘I felt in terms of Southend’s defensive record we could exploit them, which worked to a degree, obviously.’

Should Bogle miss out, James Vaughan is an option to partner Hawkins.

And Jackett conceded the 4-4-2 could well be retained tomorrow night.

He added: ‘It’s always a consideration, I don’t think we should be stuck on just one formation.

‘You find yourself in many different situations during the course of a season, so that’s where you then have to be flexible in a system and pick a team that can fit into it successfully, as we did for the majority of the first half of the season.

‘When you run out of energy, get injuries and suspensions you can’t force a formation, you have to then maybe change it.’