Whittingham: More to come from French duo

Therry Racon, left, and Yassin Moutaouakil. Picture: Joe Pepler
Therry Racon, left, and Yassin Moutaouakil. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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Guy Whittingham is adamant there is still plenty more to come from his French duo as they continue to find their Pompey feet.

Yassin Moutaouakil and Therry Racon produced star turns in Pompey’s Bank Holiday Monday triumph over Tranmere.

Moutaouakil’s raid down the right flank created David Connolly’s match-winner, while in Whittingham’s eyes compatriot Racon served up one of his best Blues displays yet.

The caretaker boss offered lifelines to the pair at the turn of the year, with their fading careers in urgent need of kick-starting for very different reasons.

The response has been good as the pair have played key roles during the current run of two defeats in 11 matches.

And Whittingham believes both will improve further with more matches under their belts.

He said: ‘I asked Yassin and Therry to step up because I don’t think people are still seeing the best out of them.

‘I think there is more to give from both of them and I asked them to do that on Monday – and both had fantastic games.

‘I don’t think it’s a case of playing within themselves.

‘But you think of Yassin coming back into professional football training day in, day out having been out and that takes it out of you.

‘Therry is another one that hasn’t had lots of games, but now is getting match fit and you could see on Monday his game is getter better and better.

‘They are getting fitter and better and the good thing about the two of them is they are really nice guys who are willing to listen, no problem whatsoever.

‘There has definitely been a steady improvement in them in recent weeks.’

Ex-France under-21 skipper Moutaouakil had drifted out of the Football League to represent Hayes & Yeading in Blue Square Bet South.

The 26-year-old even lined-up against the Hawks at Westleigh Park in September, his side losing 2-1.

Now he’s back in professional football again, making 15 appearances so far.

His performances have certainly been ramped up in recent weeks as his match fitness improves.

And Whittingham is delighted with how Moutaouakil continues to progress in his side.

He added: ‘Yassin drifted out the game. You will have to ask him why, but we are pleased with him.

‘It is important what you base your game on and you make sure people work defensively properly early on.

‘Then as time goes on, once you have got that side of it better, then you work on the offensive side and that is what we have done with Yassin.

‘I suppose you can say we have reined him in a little bit in attacking terms.

‘Probably the best bit of play against Tranmere was his ball in for David Connolly’s goal. I thought that was fantastic vision from him.’