Boss preparing for Barnet test
Paul Cook will freshen up his side for Barnet’s visit to Fratton Park this weekend.
Conor Chaplin is set for his first league start of the season in an attempt to inject a fresh attacking impetus.
Pompey were frustrated in their efforts to break down Accrington in their last outing and had to settle for a goalless draw.
And although they remain unbeaten in League Two this term, Cook feels that it is time to give some different players a chance to impress.
The Blues boss said: “The fans appreciate that you’re not some kind of magician that’s going to get every decision right.
“There will be some changes in the team for Saturday – but that’s not a slight on anyone who’s been playing.
“Conor will start without a shadow of a doubt. He has been waiting for his chance and will be one of the ones coming in.
“We were quite lacklustre against Accrington, but if your flair players don’t play well then it’s quite likely that your team won’t play well.
“I will not make drastic changes because players will not play well every week – that’s impossible.
“We’ve covered all bases in training because we know it’s going to be a tough test on Saturday.
“You receive a different challenge every week and our job is to give those lads belief as they go out to play.”
Cook is looking forward to pitting his wits against Barnet boss Martin Allen, who played for Pompey in the mid-1990s before going on to manage the reserve side.
He said: “I’ve known Martin for quite a long time through playing and managing against him and he’s one of the game’s real characters.
“He has a great enthusiasm for football that rubs off on everyone else and he’s one of those managers that you look forward to spending some time with after the game.”
Listen to Cook’s thoughts on Saturday’s game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for the full pre-match interviews with the Blues boss and Gary Roberts.