Young guns can boost Blues

Jack Whatmough
Jack Whatmough
Bradley Letbridge netted for Pompey Academy against Bourne

Pompey Academy battle to defeat Cherries

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Johnny Ertl believes young talent can boost Pompey’s flagging season.

Jack Whatmough is in contention for a Blues recall in the Boxing Day home clash with Dagenham & Redbridge after being overlooked by new boss Richie Barker in his first two games in charge.

With Joe Devera dropped at Bristol Rovers and replacement Bondz N’Gala picking up a fifth booking and now facing a one-match ban, the 17-year-old could well be given the nod.

Ertl believes Pompey could benefit from the exuberance of youth with others from Andy Awford’s Academy set-up also pressing for their first-team chance.

The skipper said: ‘We have some good, young players here and I’m sure they will get a chance at some point.

‘It’s up to the manager when that is.

‘As a club, we need that stability to be able to bring young players through at the right time. But they can give you a lift.’

The Austrian is also hopeful Pompey’s luck will change in the Fratton Park showdown and admits scoring the first goal would make a huge difference.

He said: ‘Getting that first goal would have been so important in the past two games. Even in the Newport game, we had one cleared off the line and had chances at Bristol Rovers.

‘It’s going against us at the moment but we must keep working to make it turn.’