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Fixture News

Mousinho: A Different Beast

Boss looks ahead to Cheltenham test

5 January 2024

John Mousinho
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Fixture News

Mousinho: A Different Beast

Boss looks ahead to Cheltenham test

5 January 2024

Pompey’s next opponents were already in a precarious position when their new manager took charge in September.

Darrell Clarke joined a club who had failed to win any of their opening nine League One fixtures – or even score a single goal.

But the newcomer slowly started to turn things around and Cheltenham have since climbed off the foot of the table and to within three points of safety.

It means that John Mousinho will not be harbouring any feelings of complacency ahead of Saturday’s trip to Whaddon Road.

The Blues boss said: “They’ve turned their fortunes around completely after not picking up any wins from the first 12 games.

“Now they’re really competing and have sent back most of their loan players, so are obviously looking to strengthen this month.

“Cheltenham have made themselves an incredibly difficult side to play against and Darrell knows what he’s doing at this level.

“They’re off the bottom of the table, are a tough nut to crack at home and are very effective in what they do.

“We’ve got to be wary of that and know they’re a different beast to the side we faced earlier in the season.”

"They’ve turned their fortunes around completely after not picking up any wins from the first 12 games."

John Mousinho

Joe Morrell made his 100th Pompey appearance in the New Year’s Day victory over Stevenage and is likely to be involved against a club he featured on loan for during the 2017/18 campaign.

Mousinho said: “The only game he’s not started for me when available is Exeter last week and that was only to make sure he didn’t burn out.

“He’s been brilliant since the day I walked through the door and scored that goal against Exeter in my first game.

“In terms of what Joe brings to the side, he’s an excellent footballer and gives us a lot of control in the middle of the park.

“He doesn’t give the ball away very often and is a good leader, hence why he took the armband when Marlon was injured.”

Mousinho also provided a positive assessment on three members of his squad, although Saturday’s game comes too soon for a couple of them.

He said: “Tom Lowery has been back in full training for the first time, although we’re being cautious with him because of what’s happened in the past.

“Connor Ogilvie is on the grass and we’re probably looking at him returning to the group in the middle of January.

“Christian Saydee obviously took a knock against Stevenage and got a cut under his eye, but that’s all glued up and he’s absolutely fine.”


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