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23:00 13th February 2017
By  Andy Phillips

Portsmouth Preview

Town make the long journey down to Portsmouth on Tuesday night (7:45pm) as Marcus Bignot's side look for a second straight win at Fratton Park.

The Mariners' 3-0 win over Leyton Orient on Saturday gave the team some renewed optimism with ten games remaining in the season, but they know they will have to be at their best against a Pompey side that have lost just once at home all season and crept into the automatic promotion places after an impresive 4-0 win at Colchester United at the weekend.

It will be a test but it will provide Marcus Bignot another chance to test his side against one of the big promotion contenders in the division and with both sides keeping the most clean sheets in the league this season, it could be a tight encounter. 


Town will again be without defender Gavin Gunning who continues his recovery from the concussion he suffered against Wycombe Wanderers, whilst the club will also continue to monitor midfielder Chris Clements after he missed the game on Saturday through illness. With a second long journey in four days, it is expected that there will be changes to the side regardless.

Portsmouth are likely to stick with the same eleven that won so impressively at Colchester. Midfielder Jack Whatmough is likely to miss out once again with a hamstring injury, whilst striker Curtis Main has been out for some time with a knee injury. 


Portsmouth: WWDDWLWW


Portsmouth are one of the biggest clubs in League Two, and Paul Cook's men will be hoping to go one better this time out after defeat in the play-offs to Plymouth Argyle at the end of last season.

Paul Cook's men came away with a 1-0 victory at Blundell Park back in December through a late free kick from Kai Naismith and they will be looking to do the double over Town to continue their push towards promotion on Tuesday night.

A torrid few years for the 2008 FA Cup winners saw them relegated from the Premier League to League Two within the space of four years and after several short term managerial appointments, Pompey will be hoping that the worst is behind them and that boss Cook can begin the team's rise up the leagues once again.

The former Chesterfield manager took charge of the club in the summer of 2015 after leaving the Spireities, whom he led to promotion from League Two the season before. He made his name in the managerial game through a five year spell at Sligo Rovers in Ireland after a short period at Southport at the end of his playing career, and he also won the FAI Cup twice and the League of Ireland cup during his time there. 

Pompey have been in and amongst the promotion shake-up like they would have expected to be at the start of the season all campaign and have been particularly strong at the back, only conceding 31 goals in 36 games so far this season.


Marcus Bignot: "We are going to have to (make changes) We won't have the ideal preparation - travelling on the Friday, coming back on Saturday and then back down on the day of the game. Obviously the three games in a week as well. We learnt from Crawley last time with three in a week and we were out on our legs to be honest."

Paul Cook: They are a very good side who are having an exceptional season after coming out of the National League. When you lose your top scorer like they did and are able to pick up the baton to run towards the play-offs, it means they deserve great credit. They’ve had some fantastic results of late, so I’m sure Marcus Bignot will be pleased with the progress they’re making.”