Whittingham: I won’t avoid big selection decisions

Guy Whittingham has braced himself for another tough selection dilemma and vowed: I won’t shy away from big decisions.

The Pompey manager’s starting line-up against Fleetwood provoked much debate among the Fratton faithful last weekend.

Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Whittingham admits even his backroom staff did not unanimously agree with the make-up of a side which went on to suffer a 1-0 Fratton Park defeat.

Regardless, he made the call to drop Jed Wallace and bring back League Two top-scorer David Connolly following suspension.

That was one of four changes to the team who beat Burton – with Yassin Moutaouakil banned, Joe Devera injured and Danny East left out in favour of Marcos Painter.

Now Pompey head to York tomorrow still missing Moutaouakil and Devera, although Shaun Cooper is expected to keep his place at right-back following a groin problem.

Once again, though, attention will be drawn to the boss’ attacking options, with Wallace pushing for a recall.

Another big call then for Whittingham, who insists it’s a situation he relishes.

He said: ‘If there are big decisions to make, I will make them.

‘I like to think about things, I like opinions but ultimately I know it’s my decision and I will get marked on that decision.

‘But there are other people who put into that.

‘We will all go and have arguments.

‘It wasn’t unanimous last week – but it ended up being that way!

‘Let’s look at that one last week because it’s the biggest one we have made so far about David Connolly.

‘Arguably, he is one of the best strikers – if not the best striker – in the league.

‘He has come back from suspension and is still the top-scorer in the league after missing three games.

‘Do you leave him out or do you bring him back in?

‘We chose to bring him back in, so that meant one of the three who had been playing really well dropped out.

‘I went for experience because of the way Fleetwood are set up.

‘These decisions come and there will be another one tomorrow.

‘What is good about them is you have got those tough decisions because you have got players playing well.

‘I thought about the best way to shape up against the opposition.

‘But changes were coming anyway and I believe if you feel it is the right thing to do then do it.’

Andy Barcham and Ricky Holmes’ places will be under threat from Wallace at Bootham Crescent.

And Whittingham reckons it reflects the impressive competition in his squad.

He added: ‘That is what competition for places brings and the players are also realising it is not one individual who is going to be successful in this league.

‘You need that 11 to be strong for that game but you also require people to come off the bench.’