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Gauntlet thrown down to Pompey keeper

Guy Whittingham has confirmed that Simon Eastwood will start for Pompey at Tranmere on Saturday   Picture: Barry Zee

Guy Whittingham has confirmed that Simon Eastwood will start for Pompey at Tranmere on Saturday Picture: Barry Zee

 

Simon Eastwood has been challenged to cement his place as Pompey’s first-choice keeper.

Caretaker boss Guy Whittingham confirmed Eastwood will get his chance in goal against League One leaders Tranmere on Saturday.

Whittingham explained the Blues are still facing a dilemma on how to best deal with the goalkeeping situation, after being left with just one player in the position.

But Eastwood, who was playing for Conference North side FC Halifax last season, will get his chance to impress.

Whittingham said: ‘Eastie will play, for sure, on Saturday.

‘Simon trains well and trains hard, it’s just the experience side of things, obviously.

‘But he’s got between now and January 1 to really stamp his authority on the position.

‘It’s down to him. If Eastie does well we aren’t looking for someone to replace him. We are looking for someone who is competition for him.’

Former Swindon keeper Phil Smith has been training with Pompey this week, after being without a club since last summer following his release from the County Ground.

With free agents thin on the ground at this time of the season, the Blues’ management team have to consider what the best approach is to resolving their goalkeeping issues.

Whittingham said: ‘If we do sign somebody and Eastie does get injured, that somebody has to be our keeper until the transfer window on January 1.

‘We can’t bring in another loan. We’ll have to find someone else who isn’t attached. There aren’t a lot of keepers around like that by now.

‘The thing to take into consideration is if we just kept Eastie and he got injured. They’d be exceptional circumstances and we’d hope we’d be able to bring one in.

‘That then increases our choice on who we bring in on loan.

‘We could hopefully have a loan player and not a free agent who is unattached.’

 

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