Paul Cook is weighing up Carl Baker’s role after taking him out of the firing line.
Cook has to decide how to best utilise the winger against Accrington Stanley today.
And the Pompey boss is aware of the impact Baker could have from the bench against Stanley.
The 34-year-old found himself out of the starting line-up for the trip to Wycombe last weekend.
It was the first time that’s happened to Baker in league action since his summer arrival from MK Dons.
Cook now has to make his choice over whether that remains the case against John Coleman’s side.
He said: ‘I thought Carl Baker came on last weekend and gave us a massive lift.
‘I thought he was excellent.
‘He had two good chances and should have scored with one of them.
‘We’ve got good players. We have got to keep being there for each other and searching for that little bit of magic that gets us success as a team.
‘As a manager you want to back your players even when they’re not playing as well as they could.
‘It gets to a place with people like Michael Smith where it becomes difficult because it gets personal.
‘Once it becomes personal it’s difficult for us all but the best way to get the fans on your side is to play well.’
Cook is fully aware Pompey need to hit a winning run of form with 18 games left this season.
They sit seventh going into the game with teams around them in the play-off picture now beginning to pick up.
Cook knows exactly what the challenge is ahead.
He said: ‘We’re all searching for the magic formula. We know we need a run and what we have to do. Hopefully we can all stay on the same page and achieve it.’
– JORDAN CROSS