Team news, injuries and Sunderland mind games: Everything Portsmouth have said before the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley
With the Checkatrade Trophy final rapidly approaching, we take a look inside the opposition camp to see what Portsmouth have been saying ahead of the trip to Wembley.
Kenny Jackett’s side are busy preparing for the short trip to the capital and have spoken in depth about Sunderland, team selection dilemmas and the visit to Wembley.
Here’s a look at everything the Black Cats’ opponents have said ahead of the clash:
Kenny Jackett on how Portsmouth will prepare...
“We will treat it like a normal away game in terms of our routine, including an overnight stay. “We want to build up to it, certainly by the back end of this week keep it as normal as possible.”
Jackett on the build-up to the final in the city itself...
“Everybody is buzzing, you can tell. The whole of Portsmouth is excited, which is great to see, and the players pick up on it.”
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“I was pleased with what he [Ronan Curtis] did this morning and he seemed reasonably comfortable with it.
“We’ll see, but Friday or Saturday will be when the decision is made as to whether to start him or put him on the bench.
“They [Viv Solomon-Otabor and Dion Donohue] are improving but won’t make this week.”
Jackett also gave some selection hints...
“I’ve got a good idea about my Wembley team.
“I want to try to keep it consistent, but obviously it’s about where you are with the injuries – and also how people look in training during this week.
“The important thing for us is having options. Like any manager, you would want options and then to try to pick the right team on the day.”
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“The Checkatrade Trophy has been good for me, I’ve managed to play games and get some match fitness, just getting out onto the pitch.
“That was needed when not playing regularly.”
Are Sunderland playing mind games? Tom Naylor believes so...
‘It’s one of them quotes where he [Luke O’Nien - who had spoken of Sunderland’s ability to handle the occasion] is trying to get in the players’ heads.
“Once we get over that line, all the quotes will go out the window and we want to win.”
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“A final is completely different.
“It’s a one-off game and if we win then we win the cup.”
Gareth Evans is eyeing more success in the Checkatrade Trophy...
“I’ve played a large part of this competition, played quite a lot of minutes, and scored three goals. Hopefully I can now play a part in the final.”
Star man Ronan Curtis is eyeing a great day out at Wembley...
“With the pitch, the stadium and all our fans there – it should be an incredible experience and a great day out.
“It’s something that we’re really looking forward and hopefully we turn up on the day and produce a good performance.”
Lee Brown is saving a thought for those set to miss out at Wembley...
“People forget about the earlier rounds and what they [players who starred in previous rounds] have done – it’s so easy for people like myself to come in and take the glory of playing at Wembley.
“I know everyone says “That’s football”, but from a human point of view it’s not nice.”