Tubbs Loaned To Spitfires

Last updated : 09 February 2016 By Jim Bonner

When Matt Tubbs signed for Portsmouth in the January of last season he wouldn't have imagined that just over a year from then that he would be playing non-league football.

Yet that is exactly what has happened as the 31-year-old has signed for National League side Eastleigh for the rest of the season as the Spitfires look to win promotion into League Two come May.

Paul Cook's decision to loan out the player who scored more goals than anyone else in League Two last season isn't a surprising one, but is it the right one?

Tubbs hasn't started a match since the 1-1 draw with Stevenage on October 20th as Cook's favoured 4-2-3-1 formation hasn't suited his natural game. However, despite his lack of game time his tally of five league goals this season is only bettered by Marc McNulty and Gareth Evans.

And with Cook now seemingly keen to play a 4-4-2 formation, it's slightly confusing to see why Tubbs was playing pre-match FIFA games before even being considered by the manager to play up front with a strike partner who would compliment him.

He may be a better option than Michael Smith but it would be harsh to judge the Swindon loanee on just two games and there have been matches this season where Tubbs has failed to make an impact.

However, letting such a natural goalscorer leave could be a decision that Cook ends up regretting if he doesn't bring in a suitable replacement. There have been whispers that Sheffield United midfielder Stefan Scougall will arrive at Pompey now the loan window has re-opened whilst it's possible that Coalan Lavery may also return.

At least Tubbs hasn't gone to a promotion rival and, even though he's playing for a team dubbed "mini-Southampton" by some, it would be wrong of us not to wish him the best for the future.

In other news, Portsmouth could slip out of the play-off places tonight as Wycombe are away at Dagenham & Redbridge and a win for the Chairboys would see them leap Pompey in the table. Oxford also host Mansfield in what is another key game in the race for promotion.