Whittingham: I want them all to stay

Liam Walker
Liam Walker
Pompey midfielder Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett: Baker has Pompey future

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Guy Whittingham has revealed he has offered fresh deals to all his Pompey squad.

And he has reiterated Liam Walker definitely has a future at the club.

The Blues tasted a losing end to their campaign with a 3-2 defeat at Shrewsbury on Saturday.

It was a largely-disappointing display, although they did show fight to score through Ashley Harris and Patrick Agyemang after going three goals down.

Whittingham will today continue his Blues rebuilding mission as he seeks to assemble a squad which can be competitive in League Two.

The Pompey boss insists he wants every player who has featured in the impressive run of the past few months to remain.

That includes Walker, who had been rumoured to have been shown the door, and John Akinde –both unused substitutes at Greenhous Meadow.

Now it’s a case of seeing who is keen to stay on the financial packages offered.

Whittingham said: ‘Today I will go into the office, make plenty of phone calls, go and meet people and try to do the hard work as quickly as we can to get a squad that is going to be able to compete in League Two.

‘I have spoken to every one of the current players – whether I have talked to them or an agent – so I know where every one of them is.

‘They have brought some pride back into the team and I think they deserve a chance to help us rebuild.

‘I’m interested in having them all back but what I won’t do is go back to where we have been.

‘They have got to realise the budget we are on is the budget we are on.

‘If they can get more elsewhere, good luck to them.

‘But if you fancy being part of a group of people on and off the pitch who want to restore some pride and want to help this club rebuild then you are the one for me.

‘I have told them they all have a chance.’

Walker is a player who has been in and out of the Pompey side during his maiden season in England.

Meanwhile, forward Akinde has started just three matches and struggled to make an impact.

But the Blues boss wants them both to remain.

Whittingham said: ‘I have heard all the rumours about Liam.

‘He is a good kid and wants to play for Portsmouth.

‘He has to realise – and he does realise – it’s physical in this league but it is a lot more physical in League Two.

‘He knows he has a future here if he can prove he can be physical enough to withstand the battering his body is going to get.

‘I hope he’s going to come back for pre-season. We will see.

‘John Akinde is a good guy and you need people around like that.

‘I wouldn’t dismiss anybody.

‘I know he hasn’t had time on the pitch but he is a presence.

‘People have said to me that he is a handful.’