Pompey boss lifts lid on Davies departure

Tom Davies. Picture: Joe Pepler
Tom Davies. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Tom Davies’ desire not to once again serve as a Pompey back-up drove him to depart Fratton Park.

According to Kenny Jackett, that is the reason why the defender yesterday completed his move to Coventry City.

He took the decision that he wanted to leave before the deadline, which I respect, I understand, and we wish him all the best for the future

Kenny Jackett

The 25-year-old signed a two-year deal with the League Two club for an undisclosed fee.

It ends Davies’ time on the south coast after 17 outings.

Having appeared on his way out of the club under Paul Cook earlier in the summer, new boss Jackett provided him with an opportunity to impress.

Following injury to Matt Clarke, Pompey’s boss ranked him ahead of Jack Whatmough to start in the centre of defence.

Yet having matched the pair of them together in the final friendly at Crawley, it was Whatmough who has been Christian Burgess’ regular partner.

Instead, Davies’ sole appearance arrived in the Checkatrade Trophy 3-3 draw with Fulham under-21s.

And the chance for first-team football at the Ricoh Arena proved too much of a lure.

Jackett said: ‘Initially in pre-season Tom started but if you look at the Crawley final friendly, both him and Jack played.

‘In that game they both did well but I just felt Jack had the edge – and that is what pre-season is about.

‘We gave both of them plenty of minutes and it built up to that particular game.

‘With Christian Burgess back for the first game, Jack got the nod and I have stuck with him ever since. He has not let me down either.

‘It’s a little bit tough on Tom.

‘He was a back-up last year and doesn’t want to be that again this year with the likes of Clarke coming back.

‘He took the decision that he wanted to leave before the deadline, which I respect, I understand, and we wish him all the best for the future.’

Davies joins ex-Pompey team-mates Michael Doyle and Liam O’Brien at Coventry, who are currently 10th in League Two. Meanwhile, it reduces the central defensive pool at Fratton Park to a more manageable four.

Burgess, Whatmough and Thompson are all available for Sunday’s visit of Rotherham, while Clarke is not far from first-team consideration following injury.

Jackett has certainly been well stocked in that area of his squad, although injuries have temporarily reduced his options.

However, Davies has the opportunity for first-team football elsewhere, while Jackett believes he still possesses plenty of choice.

He added: ‘We needed to look at Tom, especially in pre-season games, you don’t want to miss anything.

‘But it’s an area where there’s a lot of competition and he was frustrated last year.

‘He could only see a similar pattern this year.

‘We also have players like Nathan Thompson and Drew Talbot who are quite flexible.’