Gary Roberts is one who has really caught the eye since joining the Blues in the summer of 2015, however recent injury set-backs have seen him sidelined for the last three weeks.
After arguably being Portsmouth’s most exciting signing ahead of this season, fans are going to have to get used to a spell without the attacker as Cook has stated that ‘he’s going to be out for four weeks plus’, which is a huge disappointment. It means we lose that impact winger, who had filled the role of Jed Wallace rather nicely, and will now be relying on the likes of the so-far inconsistent Kyle Bennett to provide the crosses and set-up chances.
Roberts certainly impressed for Chesterfield last year, creating chances left, right and centre, and also picked up the League Two Player of the Season award for 2014/15. Therefore, the Fratton Faithful will probably already be looking forward to his return, particularly after netting four times in his 13 appearances for the Blues. On a more positive point, Roberts should make it back for what looks to be a hectic Christmas period down south with a game against third-placed Northampton and a trip to promotion-challengers Leyton Orient on Boxing Day.
Furthermore, the two loans that have come in look to be filling a gap, with both Caolan Lavery and Marc McNulty on the score sheet the draw against Carlisle. If this is a sign of things to come, then Pompey should be all covered for Roberts’ spell on the sidelines, however it doesn’t help the situation that League Two’s top goalscorer from last season has also been ruled out for ‘at least a month’ according to Cook. Tubbs hasn’t played since his ten-minute spell at the end of the league defeat to Notts County, and didn’t play a part in the FA Cup first round win against Macclesfield, reportedly due to a foot injury.
The last few games have really proven how vital the pair have been to the squad as results have not been as encouraging as fans would have liked. Pompey are without a league win since October 17, proving how much we rely on these core players. Even if Tubbs isn’t playing as regularly as he was last season, his impact off the bench has certainly been considerable, as was evident as he came on to score a last minute winner against Luton in August. Roberts is a player that can not only score, but also assist so is a fantastic addition to the squad, and this is perhaps why the Blues are struggling without his presence on the pitch.
While Conor Chaplin has recovered from a minor setback, he was only fit enough to make the bench in Saturday’s game and never actually came on. Nevertheless, this should be another option to cover for the injured pair and potentially cement his position in the starting line-up. Therefore, on a brighter note, the depth in the squad should be able to deal with the temporary absence of Roberts and Tubbs during a period where wins simply have to be picked up.