No Blues clues in starting line-up

npower League One - 16/03/2013 -  Doncaster Rovers vs Portsmouth'Steve Allen

npower League One - 16/03/2013 - Doncaster Rovers vs Portsmouth'Steve Allen

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Pompey fans have been warned not to read too much into team selection as pre-season preparations continue tonight.

Guy Whittingham’s side take on Conference National outfit Braintree at Cressing Road in their third warm-up match.

The starting XI are expected to be given a 60-minute run out before Whittingham will ring the changes.

But assistant manager Steve Allen insisted there is little to be learned about the starting line-up for the League Two opener against Oxford at this stage.

He said: ‘The team will be mixed.

‘The starting team will probably play 60 minutes and we will go from there.

‘We want to get more minutes into our players.

‘This is about progressing the players’ fitness.

‘You can’t get too hell bent on results in pre-season.

‘So we want to progress our players’ fitness and not come out of the game with any injuries.

‘We’re not looking too strongly at team selection at this stage.

‘After the Charlton game players will start to cement down longer minutes and longer time on the pitch.

‘You may start to see more of a team pattern form then.’

Meanwhile, Allen is confident tonight’s opponents will give Pompey a strong test of their credentials.

He said: ‘Braintree are a good Conference National side.

‘They turned Southend over in their last game, so it will be a step up from the games we have played so far.

‘They have a decent manager in Alan Devonshire, who knows the non league.

‘They have some good players.

‘I don’t think they are going to be pushovers and we are going to be in for a decent game.’