Boss reveals reasons for high-profile Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic summer arrivals’ double Portsmouth squad omission at crucial moment

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The former Lincoln City and Oxford United pair have found themselves out of favour - John Mousinho gives his reasons for that call.

John Mousinho has detailed the factors behind leaving his marquee summer signings in the cold as Pompey’s promotion push reaches a crescendo.

And the Blues boss has backed either Gavin Whyte or Anthony Scully to yet have a significant impact on the race to reach the Championship.

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It’s been a disappointing campaign for the wingers, who arrived from Cardiff and Wigan to a fanfare and with high hopes over what they could achieve.

Scully’s campaign hit an early brick wall after undergoing knee surgery which kept him out until December.

Whyte, meanwhile, has struggled for decent form, with only flashes seen of what the Northern Ireland international is capable of producing.

With Abu Kamara and Paddy Lane’s form flying that’s led to some tough calls from Mousinho, with Scully failing to make the past six squads and Whyte only making the bench against Reading in that time.

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Mousinho admitted he felt their omissions is rough justice on the duo.

He said: ‘It’s been a really good competition in wide areas through the season.

‘We've got the two frontline wingers playing most minutes in Paddy (Lane) and Abs (Kamara), who’ve scored a lot of goals, got a lot of assists and been difficult to displace. Especially when you’ve got Callum (Lang) coming in and doing really well, too.

‘I think the competition behind them in Josh (Martin), Anthony and Gavin has been really fierce.

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‘Anthony and Gav have found themselves out of the squad in recent weeks and it’s been a bit unfair - it’s been a really tough decision for me to take.

‘Unfortunately I can only name seven subs and it genuinely is a difficult one for me to leave really, really good players out.

‘It’s 100 per cent one of the hardest things, because I don’t have too much of a coherent explanation for them other then “look the guys in front of you are flying at the moment”.

‘The competition on the bench is quite fierce and we have to make sure we cover certain positions and take care of quite a few things when we name a bench. So we do that to give us the best chance of winning the game.'

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With 11 games to go Mousinho feels the message to both Whyte and Scully is to be ready for their chance across the run-in. The Pompey boss reckons the injuries woes this season underline how quickly things can change when it comes to the first-team picture.

He added: ‘The road forward for them is we’ve still got a quarter of the season to go and a huge amount could change between now and the end of the season

‘We’re fully aware of everything which goes on in training, the people doing their extras and the lads working hard to get back into the squad. Things change, things change really quickly in football and that’s what these lads need to be really aware of.

‘To be part of what we’re trying to achieve this season is really good for anyone involved in the squad. I don’t know what the exact path looks like, but between now and the end of the season one of those lads will have a big impact on the side.’

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