POMPEY’S young guns have been backed to have bright futures in the game.
England under-19 manager, Noel Blake, believes Jed Wallace, Adam Webster and Jack Whatmough all have exciting careers in football to look forward to.
That’s after Blake has worked with the trio in the Three Lions international set-up. He explained he’s liked what he’s seen of them.
Blake said: ‘They’ve all got a really good chance in the game. They are three talented boys.
‘Whatmough can be anything he wants, and Webster is a talent, for me.
‘I like Jed Wallace as well.
‘I have worked with him, albeit fairly briefly.
‘He is a dynamic type of midfielder who goes from box to box and gets goals.
‘They are three very good young professional footballers. They have a really good opportunity to have a career in the game.
‘The club has sorted itself out financially.
‘It will be nice to see them finally out of the woods when it comes to that.
‘I know what it’s like to play for that club. They will revel in the atmosphere.’
Blake pinpointed Webster as someone who could benefit from adding an extra layer of confidence to his game.
He said: ‘Maybe he just needs that little bit of self-belief. It’s a big thing.
‘It’s like anything, you have to have a bit of belief in you. You have to feel that belief. That has to come from within. I’ve already said to him he has to believe in himself.
‘He has played right the way across the back four for England. He has done well doing that and come out of it with flying colours.
‘He is a capable player.
‘Adam was at Aldershot on loan and we couldn’t pick him because they had league fixtures.
‘When he was with us, though, he did very well.’
Blake feels the Pompey talents can benefit from playing both at international level and in the fourth tier of the English game.
He said: ‘They have to handle it. It’s a different ethos and style of football they are playing
‘They are getting game understanding and are learning the game from a tactical point of view.
‘It’s not 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, that’s numbers. It’s about responding if they are asked to do something differently.
‘It’s responding to instruction and dealing with it. That’s what the top players have.
‘The modern game is counter-attacking.
‘That’s the way it’s gone in the international set-up.
‘So, from a defenders’ point of view, one minute you are defending and the next you are attacking, but, at any minute, you can be attacked.You can’t switch off at any time. A counter-attack can come at any time. Are you ready for it?’