Whittingham: Connolly perfect choice for Pompey captaincy

David Connolly led by example against Morecambe on Saturday by scoring Pompey's second goal in the 3-0 win Picture: Joe Pepler
David Connolly led by example against Morecambe on Saturday by scoring Pompey's second goal in the 3-0 win Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett was handed a fresh Fratton Park contract this week  Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey statement defies football’s knee-jerk nature

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David Connolly is at the forefront of Pompey’s promotion plans and heading the League Two goal charts.

Now he’s the man Guy Whittingham has pinpointed to lead his team.

The 36-year-old was surprisingly handed the captain’s armband for Morecambe’s weekend visit.

Eyebrows were raised more for the fact that the responsibility was removed from Joe Devera rather than doubts over the veteran’s credentials.

With regular skipper Johnny Ertl suspended for three matches, Devera had taken on the duties for the first two games.

Now the armband has switched to Connolly, who oversaw the Blues’ 3-0 success over the Shrimps.

In the process, he netted his third goal of the season, putting him joint-top with Deane Smalley in the League Two goalscoring stakes.

And for Whittingham, Connolly was the obvious choice to become Pompey’s latest captain.

He said: ‘David is a real leader. When there is something to say, out of all the players David says it.

‘I think it is important to have someone like that on the pitch who will let things be known.

‘Plus, he has been in the game a long time and played at all different levels, and he comes over to the sidelines sometimes and gives information that we might miss and it is good to have somebody that will do that.

‘Joe (Devera) did nothing wrong at all. As I’ve told Joe, he hasn’t done anything wrong.

‘I think his performances have got better and better, he has got more commanding. It’s just I felt we needed somebody that has been here a little bit longer than Joe.

‘I am sure Joe in the future will be a great captain here but, at the moment, I think it is David Connolly.

‘He is the ultimate professional, he does all the right things before the game, between games, at home – you cannot get a better professional for somebody to learn from, especially younger kids.

‘You have to keep yourself fit and keep yourself running around and he is managing to do that very well at the moment.

‘He was one of the big signings for us this summer that is for sure.’

Ertl is available for this weekend’s trip to Mansfield, having served his three-match ban.

He faces a fight to get back in the team, though, with Romain Padovani impressing during his enforced absence.

Then there is the issue of the captaincy, having held it since January.

Whittingham was remaining tight-lipped, though. He added: ‘Johnny is available again next week, we will wait and see what happens there.’