Roberts set to make way for Pompey

Gary Roberts' ever-present league record is set to end as Paul Cook rings the changes for Newport County.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:11 pm
Pompey playmaker Gary Roberts Picture: Joe Pepler

The attacking midfielder has started all 21 of Pompey’s League Two fixtures this season.

It’s a selection run which also stretches back to last term, totalling 27 successive matches.

However, the Blues’ leading scorer is currently out of sorts and likely to make way for the Boxing Day visit to Rodney Parade.

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Despite having netted seven times this season, Roberts has registered just once in his last 13 appearances.

His displays have also lost the sparkle which made him stand out at the start of the campaign.

With Cook adamant changes will be made for Newport, the 32-year-old is the obvious choice.

Instead Pompey’s boss is weighing up fielding a conventional two-man strikeforce, which would bring Conor Chaplin and Noel Hunt into the equation.

With Curtis Main still injured, Cook must decide which of the duo will partner Michael Smith against League Two’s bottom club.

Regardless of his Boxing Day line-up, Cook still has every faith in Roberts regaining the creative form which can drive the Blues’ promotion push.

Rodney Parade offers the opportunity of a third-straight away victory for Pompey as they strive to close the gap on the top three.

Newport are without a win in their last six matches and on Wednesday night were eliminated from the FA Cup by Plymouth.

Graham Westley’s side have scored only twice during that period as they battle to remain in the Football League.

Pompey won 1-0 at Newport last season, through a Matt Tubbs strike.