Pompey winger closes in on starting berth

Jack Maloney beats Dean Cox at Leyton Orient on Tuesday night    Picture: Allan Hutchings

Jack Maloney beats Dean Cox at Leyton Orient on Tuesday night Picture: Allan Hutchings

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Guy Whittingham has told Jack Maloney he will get a start soon.

The caretaker Blues boss was impressed with the 17-year-old winger’s impact as a substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Leyton Orient on Tuesday and revealed he is contemplating throwing him in to the starting line-up at Doncaster tomorrow.

While the Isle of Wight teenager may yet have to settle for a place on the bench again at the Keepmoat Stadium, Whittingham believes Maloney is close to a full league debut.

‘Jack has done well,’ said Whittingham. ‘So it’s something that is there in your mind – when do you start him and when don’t you?

‘Before the end of the season, I am sure he will start a game for us.’

The second-year Academy scholar made his Blues debut in the Capital One Cup at Plymouth back in August but then had to wait until last weekend against Bury for a second opportunity.

But he showed plenty of promise at Orient, including one fine run to beat a defender and hit the byline. And Whittingham believes he adds a new dimension to his squad.

Whittingham said: ‘He’ll get the ball and he will run at people, which is something we hadn’t really got. We’ve got pass and movers but not people who will run with the ball.

‘So he gives us something a little bit different.

‘It’s a big asset of his to dribble and run at players or knock it past them. He’s not scared to do that because he’s got a decent turn of pace.’

– STEVE WILSON

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