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Caretaker boss could drop himself from side
GARETH Ainsworth has hinted he may drop himself from the Wanderers team for the first time since becoming caretaker boss as Blues play Portsmouth tonight.
He's played in all three matches since being placed in temporary charge of the side but may content himself with a place in the dugout for this evening's Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie.
The 39-year-old said after Saturday's win over Torquay his body would be feeling the effects of facing the Gulls, Dagenham and Redbridge and Plymouth in the space of eight days.
But injuries to other players may force him to take up his usual place on the right wing.
He said after the Torquay game: "Matt McClure picked up a hamstring against Plymouth on Tuesday and battled through and played a half for me today.
"Stuart Lewis took a whack and had to come off. My legs will definitely be feeling it on Tuesday after two games in a week, and I've got people like Gary Doherty and Leon Johnson who are over 30 who you have to look after."
As well as that he will have to do without Saturday's matchwinner Josh Scowen, who is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season.
Ainsworth was in bullish mood ahead of tonight's game and said Blues won't be heading to Fratton Park to face the 2008 FA Cup winners to make up the numbers.
He said: "The team will change slightly but it's not going to be weakened because I've got faith in all my players.
"We want to go and win and beat Portsmouth. You don't want a bad result any time but they are going to be strong. They are a very professional club, they have got good facilities there. It will be a good experience for some of the boys."
Competition rules forbid Ainsworth from making wholesale changes to his side, with managers having to play at least six members of the team that started their last league match.
Last season then-Sheffield Wednesday boss Gary Megson found a loophole as he made all three of his available substitutions within the first twenty minutes of their tie against Yorkshire rivals Bradford City - including the removal of goalkeeper Nicky Weaver after just two minutes.