Whittingham wants long Pompey stay for inspirational striker

Patrick Agyemang has been quietly inspirational since his arrival at Pompey. Picture: Sarah Standing (13426-8055)
Patrick Agyemang has been quietly inspirational since his arrival at Pompey. Picture: Sarah Standing (13426-8055)
Pompey opened their League One account with a 2-0 win against Rochdale at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 2 Rochdale 0: Highlights

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Guy Whittingham wants to keep Patrick Agyemang for the remainder of the season after watching him inspire Pompey to a Fratton Park point.

Liam Walker’s 78th-minute penalty – after fellow substitute John Akinde was fouled – earned the Blues a 1-1 draw against Carlisle on Saturday.

Yet it was the fine work of Agyemang which inspired the equaliser.

The striker smartly controlled the ball before swivelling and delivering a first-time pass into the path of Akinde, who was then fouled by keeper Mark Gillespie.

That contribution capped a superb all-round display from the player on loan from Stevenage.

And Whittingham admitted he would love to retain him for longer than the initial month-long deal.

He said: ‘Pat is somebody you can build the play up from and that’s probably one area we haven’t had all season.

‘Paul Benson was tremendous for us with his work-rate and flick-ons and Pat is a big guy who can get the ball in and hold it up.

‘John Akinde is the same. Pat is just a little bit ahead of him in fitness and experience.

‘He’s a decent footballer, he’s been around, has a lot of experience and we are glad to have him.

‘We knew it was going to be a battle against Carlisle – they have two big centre-halves who like heading the ball, have good strength and play well.

‘But we are pleased how Pat played against them.

‘You need that in this league or League Two – you need that type of player, so it was vital we got someone in.

‘It’s surprising when you find out where some players go when they are in the Premier League one minute then here they are in League One.

‘He’s a great guy. He’s quieter probably than most people think because he puts himself about on the football pitch, but he’s a really nice guy.

‘Pat’s here for an initial month but if he does well – and Stevenage are happy – hopefully we will keep him until the end of the season.’

Whittingham’s double substitution on 63 minutes saw both Walker and Akinde introduced.

They replaced Jed Wallace and James Keene after the caretaker boss had named an unchanged side.

Hartlepool’s late victory against Leyton Orient condemned Pompey to bottom spot in League One.

Regardless, Whittingham was delighted as his decision to bring on both substitutes proved spot-on when they combined to get the equaliser.

He added: ‘We had to get back in the game, so myself and Andy had a discussion about it and obviously it turned out to be the right one.

‘Liam gave us that balance. We wanted Jed in there for his energy first of all and it was just one of those games.

‘It was the same for James Keene really where nothing really went for them.

‘They wanted to get involved and probably got too close to the ball sometimes but that’s through effort and wanting to do well, which is fantastic.

‘Liam brought a bit of balance to us down the left-hand side with his left foot and Akinde had a presence up front for us which helped.’