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Match Previews

The big preview – Portsmouth

4 December 2013

Wanderers make the trip down to Fratton Park for the second time this season, hoping for a change in the weather, as well as their fortunes.

The initial fixture between the sides – on Tuesday 22ndOctober – was abandoned at half-time due to heavy rainfall making the pitch unplayable.

Chairboys had been the better side that evening, but since that match have gone on a run of six league games without a win.

Pompey are winless in their last six matches in all competitions – losing the first five of those. However, an improved display last Saturday saw them secure a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Hartlepool United.

There will be a change in the home side’s dugout compared to the first fixture with Guy Whittingham having left the club and Andy Awford taking caretaker charge.

Richard Dobson – speaking to Chairboys Player

“We have a good idea about Pompey. We’ve done our homework on them and we’ll go there with a game-plan which will hopefully set us up in the same way that it did in the last game.

“I don’t think there’s anything to fear and you’ve got to take away the surroundings. Its 11 v 11 on a football pitch and that’s the bottom line.

“We have to stop them getting ahead of steam and stop the crowd from getting behind them, which can bring an extra incentive for their players to get on the ball a little bit more or take risks. If we can stop that from happening then I think we’ll be fine.

“You take a little bit of confidence from the first match, but no two games are the same. We might find ourselves under a spell of pressure and we have to deal with that.

“To believe that we’re going to go out there and pass the ball exactly as we did might be a little bit naïve. We have to play whatever game is in front of us and adapt in the circumstances.

“It’s a different manager playing with different ideas, so we’ll just deal with what’s in front of us.”

Andy Awford – talking to

“I told the lads that they did well on Saturday – and now they have to do it again.

“When we run out against Wycombe, there has to be that same desire to keep the ball out of the net.

“We can’t afford to switch off like we did against Southend last week. We have to keep our concentration from first minute to last.

“They’ve done it for one game, but it needs to be over a long period of time. It can’t be let three in then keep a clean sheet, then let four in, then keep a clean sheet.

“There have been too many spikes on the graph and we need to be more linear, more consistent.

“We’ve shipped far too many goals this season and you won’t go up the table if you keep on conceding the type of goals that we have.”

“They’re a good side. They haven’t done too well recently, but it will be a tough game and we’ll have to be at our very best to get a result.

“I had done a couple of scouting reports on them for Guy before the first match, so I’m fully aware of what they do and how they do it.”

Team news

 Steven Craig is available for selection despite coming off against Dagenham following a dislocated shoulder.Sam Wood (tight groin) and Billy Knott (illness) missed that defeat, but have returned to training, as have Kortney Hause (ankle) and Jo Kuffour (thigh).

Patrick Agyemang, Tom Craddock, Simon Ferry and Thery Racon all sat out the Hartlepool match, but Pompey have no new injury concerns ahead of tonight’s clash.


Wycombe 12/5
Draw 12/5
Portsmouth 11/10

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