Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill is refusing to hide behind the lack of numbers in his squad.

Cotterill could name only four substitutes - all youngsters - and had a number of players operating out of position in Saturday's defeat at Preston.

He said: "The lack of players we have means we can't change things when we want to. We have an abundance of central midfielders but a lack of defenders, wide players and forwards. It's hard to address all of those issues. You're plugging holes."

He added: "This season I've played Marc Wilson in central defence, as a holding midfielder and now as an attacking midfielder. In his defence he probably doesn't know whether he's coming or going.

"We have to work really hard to get out of where we are - and we're unhappy with where we are. I'm not going to hide behind the problems. I'm going to deal with them."

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