Midfielder backs loan star to keep shining

Gareth Evans, left, with Brett Pitman, played a key role in Pompeys victory against Blackpool Picture: Joe Pepler

Title-winners have given Pompey boss a selection headache

New-boy Ritchie De Laet can carry on starring for Pompey.

That's the verdict of Blues team-mate Hayden Mullins, who has been impressed with the youngster's immediate impact.

The versatile defender made his debut at Nottingham Forest on Saturday – 24 hours after arriving on a season-long loan from Manchester United.

He produced an eye-catching display at right-back, suggesting he will prove to be a prize recruit.

De Laet will make his Fratton Park bow when Leeds visit on Saturday, although he may be asked to operate in a new role, with the return of Greg Halford from suspension.

Regardless, he has already won the admiration of Mullins.

And the experienced midfielder believes Steve Cotterill has come up trumps by tempting the 22-year-old to Fratton Park.

He said: 'Ritchie looks a really good player and is clearly a very good signing.

'He's from Manchester United so you would expect him to be a quality player, and he is.

'You can see already he is good on the ball, has good delivery from wide areas and is also hard to beat when you are running at him.

'I also like the fact he's got a very good attitude, trains hard and trains well.

'Ritchie's bedded in really, really well and is also a good guy, which makes it easy for everyone.

'Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, we can use him more and maybe start winning a few games.

'He's versatile and we need that – especially with the squad we've got being so short. We're glad to have him on board.'

De Laet has also been on loan at Sheffield United and Preston this season.