Morecambe boss Jim Bentley believes veteran attacker Kevin Ellison has still got the x-factor.
The 35-year-old’s 70th-minute strike sealed a 1-0 victory over League Two hot-shots Bury last Saturday.
Bentley praised Ellison’s attacking instinct and is hoping for more of the same against Portsmouth tomorrow.
He said: “Kevin keeps getting written off at 35 but we know what he is like. We manage him right, he manages himself right – he’s still got it.
“He is one of the best professional’s I’ve seen. He played out of position last Saturday as an out-and-out centre-forward but I thought him and Paul Mullin were a good combination.
“Kev is still a threat and a nuisance for defenders.
“As soon as he sees that Jack Redshaw is going to take the shot he takes a little gamble, makes a six-yard run into the box, the keeper spills and he puts it away.
“Long may it continue. He will get more goals this season.”
Portsmouth are 13th in the League Two table – five places below Morecambe – and Bentley believes Andy Awford’s men should be higher.
And the Shrimps boss thinks Portsmouth’s midweek FA Cup exit to non-league Aldershot Town can work in their favour.
He said “For the players they have on paper they should be winning those games and higher up the division.
“They have a good home record but we’ve just had a good result and they have just had a Wednesday game and lost – so hopefully that will take its toll. The lads are champing at the bit to play and hopefully we can back that fantastic result against Bury up with another win against one of the other fancied sides.”
Padraig Amond and Jack Sampson will miss the clash but Bentley has been boosted by the news that star winger Jamie Devitt is close to a return.
He said: “He joined in a little bit of training at the start of the week. You have got to be careful with muscle injuries – we don’t want to rush him back to soon.
“We thought he’d be out until Christmas but it looks like he will return in the next couple of weeks.”
But Bentley still has a keeper headache as the club cannot keep four shot-stoppers on its books.
He said: “Andreas Arestidou is back in training, Barry Roche had a hip operation, Scott Davies is on loan from Fleetwood and that ends after Saturday so I will talk to the chairman to see if we can extend that.
“It has been a mess. We brought Joe Lumley in on loan until December from QPR because Fleetwood didn’t want Scott cup tied.
“But we can’t keep hold of four keepers so we will have to assess the situation.”