Stand-in boss hails new Pompey recruit’s quality

Abdul Razak
Abdul Razak
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Guy Whittingham welcomed Abdul Razak to Fratton Park and highlighted his quality.

The Manchester City youngster joined Pompey on a month’s loan on Friday evening and was immediately handed a place on the bench for the 3-1 defeat at Derby.

He was thrown into the action in the second half at Pride Park as Pompey chased the game, replacing David Norris in the centre of midfield.

And the 18-year-old’s introduction helped spark a brave Blues fightback, which resulted in Jason Pearce scoring a late consolation goal.

His 28-minute cameo appearance couldn’t prevent Pompey from suffering their fifth straight away defeat this term.

But it was enough to further convince joint-caretaker boss Whittingham that the Ivory Coast teenager will provide some much-needed competition for places in midfield and help boost the Blues’ bid to climb the Championship table.

‘We are pleased with the way he came on and I think all of the players can see he’ll be a decent player for us,’ said the former Pompey striker.

‘It’s one of the areas where we haven’t got competition for places – that central-midfield role.

‘Liam (Lawrence) has played in there, Joel Ward has played in there, but to press on you really need that competition for places and he’ll bring that for however long he’s here.’

Whittingham said the youngster had been on Pompey’s radar for some time.

But denied he was a player identified by former boss Steve Cotterill.

‘(Razak’s signing) wasn’t a decision which has been made over a week,’ admitted Whittingham.

‘Stuart Gray’s got contacts up there.

‘He knows the good players and Lee Maybury (chief scout) has been to see a few players play.

‘Stuart went to see him on Wednesday against Wolves for Manchester City, so we’ve been aware of him.

‘We’re thankful to City because he’s a great prospect and we’re looking forward to seeing more of him here.’