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Play up The Tics

Paul Cook will face his former club this afternoon at The DW Stadium as our 100% record goes on the line against the side that would probably want to break it more than most.

Forgetting for a moment about the result on Tuesday night, the performance wasn't as bad as the scoreline indicates especially considering that it was effectively a reserve side.  The strength in depth we have at the club at the moment is surely better than most clubs in this division when you consider that Will Grigg, Max Power, Donervan Daniels, Alex Gilbey and Ryan Colclough would probably get into most League One sides.  If we do lose the likes of Nick Powell in the window then we already have replacements that at this level should still be good enough to do the job we need of them.

Obviously we don't want to lose anyone in the window especially considering the start we have made to the season.  Our three wins so far have all been complete and dominant performances that could easily have been victories by far bigger scorelines than they actually were. Our last home outing against Bury for example could have seen us grab 7 or 8.  If I had to have one criticism of us at the moment then it would be our defence from set pieces.  The Bury goal came from a set piece and so did their only other chances in the game whilst the games against Blackpool and Villa saw us vulnerable from corners.

I expect to see Callum Elder come back into the side after his suspension in place of Reece James but the rest of the side that faced Bury and Oldham should remain the same and should be full of confidence.  They will probably come and try to frustrate us and slow down our game because they will be more aware than most of how dangerous the game that Paul Cook wants us to play can be when the tempo is high and we are in full control. 

Portsmouth

We haven't exactly had it easy since our 2013 cup win, but it could have been worse.  We have seen several "fire sales" since we won the trophy at Wembley but none have been truly forced by financial difficulties like the sale of Portsmouth's top stars after their cup win in 2008.  Several points deductions arising from administration led to the club being relegated to League Two and a number of takeovers eventually culminated in the club being owned by the Portsmouth Supporters Trust until May of this year when the club was taken over by Michael Eisner shortly before Paul Cook departed for The DW.

One of the favourites for promotion after Eisner's takeover and the appointment of Kenny Jackett, Pompey started the season with an emphatic win over Rochdale but were then well beaten by Oxford so it doesn't look as though they have found the fluidity yet that Paul Cook has managed to instil into our side but if there is one match they will want to win more than any other this season, it will be this one against their title winning manager of last season.

PORTSMOUTH - THE STORY SO FAR 

League One

P 3
W 1
D 1
L 1
F 3
A 4
GD -1
Pts 4

Pos 13th

Last Game: v Walsall D 1-1.

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