John Mousinho acknowledged that a trio of experienced players in his Portsmouth squad might not see action against Carlisle United, and he believes those sitting out the game have valid reasons to feel unfairly treated.
Mousinho’s team is preparing to return to Fratton Park to take on League One newcomers Carlisle, benefiting from the return of several players after the squad was stretched thin in the Port Vale match. Regan Poole and Alex Robertson are back from suspension, while Connor Ogilvie has recovered from an injury. This situation places the head coach in the position of making some significant selection decisions. Given the strong early-season form of the entire team, Mousinho admitted that any player omitted from the lineup has grounds for disappointment.
He explained, “Over the past six to seven weeks, we’ve often had a full bench without needing to exclude players. In certain situations, individuals who haven’t seen any league action have been called upon and have performed admirably. This is how we’ve structured our squad.”
Mousinho continued, “When you construct a squad designed to handle the challenges of a football season, there will be occasions on weekends and Tuesdays when we must leave players out of the squad. At the moment, nobody deserves to be excluded, and I can’t envision anyone being excluded this weekend. We haven’t made a decision on the individuals yet, but whoever it is, it will undoubtedly be a tough decision.”
As the team aims to maintain their impressive 24-game unbeaten streak in league matches at Fratton Park, Mousinho is planning to have a conversation with the players who will not be part of the 18-man squad for the Saturday game.
He clarified, “Sometimes when players are omitted from the squad, we have a discussion with them, and my door is always open for them to approach me. The initial conversation is important, but we avoid making it a repetitive process for them by discussing their exclusion every weekend.”
Mousinho expressed his appreciation for the players’ willingness to engage in such discussions, adding, “For those who miss out this weekend, it will be a challenging situation, so I will definitely have a conversation with them.”