Pompey mull over Matt Tubbs recall

Matt Tubbs Picture: Joe Pepler

Matt Tubbs Picture: Joe Pepler

  • Matt Tubbs netted twice in 16 apearances for Eastleigh
  • Pompey’s striking options have hit by Michael Smith’s return to Swindon and injuries to Marc McNulty and Conor Wilkinson
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Pompey are weighing up adding Matt Tubbs to their play-off plans.

The out-of-favour striker has spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Eastleigh.

The ambitious National League outfit recruited Tubbs to boost aspirations of breaking into the Football League.

However, their failure to reach the play-offs was confirmed last weekend, bringing an end to their season.

Regardless, Tubbs remains contracted to Eastleigh until the end of this month, a period designed to cover potential qualification for the play-offs.

It means the non-league side are continuing to pay the wages of a player who netted twice in 16 appearances.

The 31-year-old was back training with parent club Pompey at their Copnor Road base yesterday.

But Tubbs must be officially recalled if he is to feature in the Blues’ remaining league match and at least two play-off fixtures.

It is a decision Paul Cook is mulling over as he plots the downfall of Plymouth over two legs, starting May 12.

Pompey’s striking pool is currently light, with late-season injuries biting.

Michael Smith returned to Swindon on Saturday at the end of his loan spell, following four goals in 16 games.

Conor Wilkinson continues to undergo treatment at Bolton for the groin injury which has prevented him arriving at Fratton Park.

In addition, Marc McNulty remains troubled by the hamstring problem which has kept him out of the past two matches.

The loanee from Sheffield United is currently Pompey’s joint-top scorer with 11 goals and has made a significant impact since arriving in November.

He is regarded as a doubt for Saturday’s visit of champions Northampton.

Cook’s present striking options in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation consist of Conor Chaplin and Adam McGurk.

Chaplin has been more effective as an impact player from the bench during his first full season in Pompey’s first team.

Of his 11 goals, seven have come as a substitute, with his last start coming at Exeter at the start of March.

McGurk has had success operating as a lone striker, although almost exclusively in the first half of the season.

The versatile forward netted the last of his six goals in December for the FA Cup visit of Accrington.

The 27-year-old’s appearances since the turn of the year have largely involved serving on the right-hand side of the attacking three.

Then there is Tubbs, who is contracted to Pompey until the summer of 2017.

He scored at Plymouth in the August encounter between the sides, resulting in a 2-1 success for the Blues.

The last of his 17 appearances this season came in October, with injury sidelining him before February’s loan switch to Eastleigh.