Jones gets Pompey nod as Cook shuffles his side

Paul Jones in pre-season action against Gillingham Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Jones in pre-season action against Gillingham Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Paul Jones to reclaim his place from Brian Murphy after losing out on Saturday
  • Keeper was an ever-present for Pompey last season in 52 matches

Paul Jones will tomorrow night return to Pompey’s side for the Capital One Cup visit of Derby.

Last season’s automatic goalkeeping choice was dislodged by Brian Murphy for Saturday’s 3-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge.

It is not about leaving people out, it’s having the faith in them. If you bomb someone you don’t put them back in, as you can see by Jones starting

Paul Cook

But Paul Cook is to shuffle his team for the Fratton Park clash with the Rams (7.45pm).

And Jones has been given the nod for what is anticipated to be a much-changed starting line-up.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘I will play what team I think is right to play.

‘There are lads who thought on Saturday they should be playing. Well, they will certainly get an opportunity to play tomorrow night.

‘I am a great believer of getting lads as many minutes as you can. I am a great believer in having confidence in every player in the squad.

‘If you look at Adam Webster for example, why shouldn’t he have started Saturday? The same for Ben Close.

‘These lads are good players so we will give one or two from around the squad an opportunity because we think it’s right.

‘Jones will come in as well, people will always look for problems when they are not there.

‘He is getting an opportunity to show everyone what he is about. All I want is healthy competition for places – at any given time any of the lads in our building will play for the first-team.

‘It is not about leaving people out, it’s having the faith in them. If you bomb someone you don’t put them back in, as you can see by Jones starting.

‘What we want to do is make sure he is fighting and champing at the bit to play in the first team.

‘I feel you need competition. I feel if your position gets that safe, you become safe – and that’s not referring to Paul Jones, that is about any player.’

Irrespective of planned changes, Cook admitted the Capital One Cup ranked low on his list of ambitions this term.

He added: ‘Our priority is promotion this year. Come the end of the season, if I lost players in the Capital One Cup – such as the likes of Gary Roberts – would that be right? In my opinion, no, so I certainly won’t risk it.

‘It is not a case of rotating – if it was a league game tomorrow night there wouldn’t be any changes. It’s that simple, I won’t rotate, I am not a rotational type of person.

‘But this cup competition is something that, in the list of what I want to achieve this year, is not very high on the list of priorities.’