Pompey loanee Jack Whatmough may land Hawks midfield role

Jack Whatmough. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jack Whatmough. Picture: Joe Pepler
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The Hawks are set to hand a debut to new recruit Jack Whatmough in their Vanarama National League South trip to Hemel Hempstead Town (3pm).

Though primarily a defender Whatmough may be used in a holding midfield role to replace suspended captain Brian Stock.

Jack will be a good asset and Portsmouth want him to get some game time under his belt

Lee Bradbury

Manager Lee Bradbury felt the offer to have the Portsmouth youngster on a month-long loan deal was too good an opportunity to pass up.

With his team starting the new year in the bottom three he knows someone of Whatmough’s quality can make a big difference.

The talented 19-year-old hasn’t played since March 2015 when he damaged his cruciate knee ligament playing against Cheltenham Town.

It has been a long road back and with the Hawks facing a busy schedule in the next four weeks there will be plenty of opportunities to play.

‘Jack will be a good asset and Portsmouth want him to get some game time under his belt,’ said Bradbury.

‘The arrangement should be beneficial to all concerned.

‘Hopefully he can use us to get back to full fitness and we can reap the rewards from that.

‘He can play as a central defender or holding midfield player.’

It won’t be an easy start for Whatmough as the Hawks look to improve their dismal away record.

Bradbury’s men have won just once on their travels and drawn twice in 12 away games.

They have conceded 31 goals on the road – the worst away defensive record in the league.

Bradbury, however, will take some encouragement from Hemel’s poor home form.

They have only managed two wins in the first half of the season.

‘Our away performances have to be better,’ said Bradbury.

‘We have to learn to be better on the road, particularly when we suffer any setbacks.

‘It is a question of showing a bit more patience at times and not allowing games to get away from us.

‘We need to start putting more points on the board and need wins rather than draws.

‘Drawn games won’t get us up the league very quickly.

‘There is everything to play for and it is time for all the players to take more responsibility.

‘It is time to stand up and be counted because we will be judged by where we are at the end of the season.

‘There is still time with 19 league games left to do something about it.

‘We don’t want to find ourselves constantly playing catch up.’

The Hawks have also been boosted after Ebbsfleet United agreed to extend the loan of Theo Lewis until the end of the season.

Lewis has been excellent in midfield during his time at Westleigh Park.

Hawks: Young, Medway, Hill, Molyneaux, Strugnell, Whatmough, Lewis, Donnelly, Cummings, Paterson, Swallow, Hayter, Mullings, Morgan, Ciardini, Blanchett