Keene to extend Pompey loan

James Keene has been given the green light from Elfsborg to extend his loan spell at Fratton Park

James Keene has been given the green light from Elfsborg to extend his loan spell at Fratton Park

Kyle Bennett celebrates scoring his first goal of the match during Pompey's win against Newport County. Picture: Joe Pepler.

Pompey 2 Newport 1: Man of the Match vote

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James Keene is set to extend his loan stay with Pompey.

The Blues have been given the green light from the striker’s parent club Elfsborg to keep him for another month.

With four starts and one goal during his spell at Pompey, his stay had been scheduled to finish today – but with the Swedish league season not starting until April 1 he has been given permission to remain.

It comes as a welcome boost for the Blues, after fellow striker David Connolly was ruled out for 10 days with a hamstring injury.

There is also brighter news ahead of the Cherries clash on the availability of Dan Butler and Ricardo Rocha.

Rocha (Achilles) and Butler (hamstring) were both named on the bench for the 2-1 defeat at Scunthorpe on Tuesday night following niggles.

Butler, however, appeared in the 87th minute in place of Adam Webster.

And Whittingham is expecting the defensive duo to be pushing for first-team recalls for the derby with Eddie Howe’s side as Pompey bid to avoid equalling a post-war record of nine consecutive defeats.

He said: ‘Some of the lads on the bench against Scunthorpe had little niggles.

‘With Dan Butler, for example, his hamstring was a bit tight after the Colchester game.

‘Now Dan has played three games in a week – his first games for this football club – and what I didn’t want to do was for him to go out there, strain his hamstring and be out for a month.

‘That was the reason for Adam Webster playing.

‘As for Ric, he picked up a knock on Saturday so we made sure he is fit for the Bournemouth game.

‘David Connolly will be out for another 10 days, though, with a grade one hamstring.’

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