Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Previews

Coley to shuffle pack for in-form Pompey

Manager knows Stanley need wins as they look to move away from drop zone

12 March 2020

John Coleman will have to reshuffle his defence for Saturday’s League One clash at Portsmouth – but, like everyone else, he is waiting to see if the game will go ahead due to the Coronavirus.

Pompey are currently in fourth place, chasing the automatic promotion places, but despite a run of four games without a win, the Reds did put on one of their performances of the season with a 4-1 win over Kenny Jackett’s men in December.

Portsmouth are unbeaten at home in the league this season as Fratton Park has been a fortress for them.

“The games are in the lap of the gods at the moment,” said Coleman. “But it’s business as usual until we are told differently.”

The Reds boss will have to change his defence with Harvey Rodgers suspended following his sending off in the 2-1 loss to Tranmere while Mark Hughes is out injured and Ross Sykes missed the Rovers game.

In midfield, Sam Finley is suspended after picking up ten bookings.

“We had a behind-closed-doors friendly with Liverpool Under 23s and it was an informative day. We have got a way of playing, whoever comes in, and we have got to get back to it.

“It’s about working hard and playing at a high tempo as we did in the first part of the game against Tranmere but we have got to play it for longer in games.

“We have got players who are ready to come in and I am upbeat about the players coming in as they will be relishing the opportunity.

“It can be doom or gloom or we can focus on the job in hand, which is to get points on board, to win games and play decent football.

“We are always positive in what we do but it is a results-driven business and we are in a relegation fight until we have enough points to say we aren’t.”

Coleman knows Pompey will be a big test – even if it is played behind-closed-doors.

“It would change the dynamic a bit, but we have experienced friendlies and bounce games and it will be akin to that.

“Portsmouth at home was one of our best performances of the season, it’s up there, but you need luck. That day the ball went in the net and we scored some great goals.

“We know what we are capable of and we will be aspiring to reach that level.

“We will be fired up for it and the past result may fire them up but we need to win games and we have a decent record at Fratton Park."


Advertisement block