Mattock told to keep on attacking

Dyer and  Mattock race for ball while Appleton watches on'Portsmouth V Leicester'Fratton Park'Npower Championship'26/11/2011 Saturday 15:00
Dyer and Mattock race for ball while Appleton watches on'Portsmouth V Leicester'Fratton Park'Npower Championship'26/11/2011 Saturday 15:00
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

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Michael Appleton will not apply the brakes to Joe Mattock’s swashbuckling style.

The on-loan left-back has, instead, been instructed to maintain his exciting attacking instincts.

Mattock, 21, is regarded as an adventurous defender who relishes breaking into the opposition’s half.

His style of play was unquestionably apparent on his debut against Leicester, with those characteristic surges down the left-flank a regular sight.

Making only his second start since May, inevitably Mattock’s effectiveness will improve as he cranks up his match fitness.

Still, Pompey fans have already had a small taste of what the loanee can bring to the side.

For Appleton, Mattock represents the perfect candidate to fulfil the role of an attack-minded full-back.

It is an outlet he is keen to employ in his Blues side.

And he believes the youngster can revel in the role.

He said: ‘Joe is someone who likes to get forward and support the attacking player every time he gets an opportunity to.

‘And he’s at a good time in his career to come and get some football.

‘He is very enthusiastic, very excitable. Sometimes more than anything you have got to put the reins on him as he probably wants to get forward too much.

‘But I think sometimes if you’ve got a full-back who is prepared to get beyond and overlap and get crosses in, what it tends to do is push the opposition full-backs in and wide players back.

‘That means you tend to spend most of your time playing in the opposition’s half, rather than defending.

‘It’s okay being a counter-attacking team.

‘But ultimately, you find yourself trying to score goals when you pick the ball up 70 yards, 80 yards from goal rather than playing in the opposition’s half.

‘I can see Joe giving us that attacking threat.

‘You would have seen on Saturday that he is desperate to do well.’

Mattock landed on the south coast along with West Brom team-mate George Thorne.

Midfielder Thorne also impressed against Leicester, with his eagerness to dictate play from the middle of the pitch.

The pair are scheduled to remain on emergency loans until January 2.

That will be long enough to put them in the frame to feature in six matches.

These are the visit of Coventry, and clashes with Burnley, Southampton, Millwall, Leicester and Watford.

That’s plenty of time for the youngsters to catch the eye.

And Appleton won’t rule out their stay being extended beyond that.

He added: ‘I have brought George and Joe in because I think they can make us better.

‘Better as a team, better as a squad in the short period of time we can have them.

‘If we can have them longer than a short period of time that is something we will look to do over the next two or three weeks.

‘But they have come into the building for one thing – that’s to make sure they improve us.

‘And I am sure everyone will see over the coming weeks, hopefully we made the right decision.’