Portsmouth boss contemplates surprise new selection policy to utilise embarrassment of riches…

Portsmouth’s manager, John Mousinho, is considering a surprising new approach to his team selection in order to take advantage of the abundance of talent available to him.

This involves the possibility of rotating his full-backs based on the specific strengths of the opposition.

The team is set to benefit from the return of Connor Ogilvie, who has been sidelined due to a groin injury for five matches. In his absence, left-back replacement Jack Sparkes has excelled, providing three assists during this period.

Meanwhile, the competition is fierce for the right-back position, with Joe Rafferty and Zak Swanson both making positive impressions in the opening two months of the season.

These selection dilemmas have led Mousinho to consider adopting a “horses for courses” policy, where the choice of full-backs would depend on the strengths of the opposing team.

With all four full-back options potentially available for the upcoming match against Carlisle, the manager faces a challenging decision.

Mousinho expressed his thoughts, saying, “It’s a difficult one. Thinking about Connor Ogilvie coming back into the side is very, very tough.

It’s similar to the right-back situation that we’ve got at the minute. It has been incredibly difficult leaving Zak out of squads because of his performances.” He also highlighted the possibility of choosing full-backs based on the specific requirements of each game.

Mousinho emphasized the advantage of having four different players with distinct attributes, providing the team with valuable options.

Jack Sparkes, in particular, has stood out with his excellent delivery, both in open play and set-piece situations.

Additionally, Sparkes has made significant defensive improvements through focused training with the first-team development coach, Zesh Rehman.

Mousinho praised Sparkes’ development, stating, “Naturally you look at Jack, and he’s extremely good going forward.

The areas we want to work on are defensive areas, and there’s no point us hiding behind that; that’s what we want to push for with Jack.

The most pleasing thing since he has come into the side is he has done really well in a lot of those areas which he’s worked on and carried out individual programmes. Jack has competed brilliantly and looked more assured in defensive aspects as games have progressed.”

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