Whatmough praises Roberts’ Pompey return

Pompey midfielder Gary Roberts
Pompey midfielder Gary Roberts
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Gary Roberts is getting back to his Blues best.

That’s the view of team-mate Jack Whatmough, who has backed the 32-year-old attacker to play a major role in Pompey’s push for automatic promotion.

Roberts started the season in stunning fashion, scoring six goals in nine League Two outings – a tally that rose to seven by November.

The playmaker, though, has failed to find the target in 11 games since then, coinciding with a spell out of the team after a dip in form.

A return to the starting XI this month, though, has shown glimpses of Roberts back at his best – linking up well with new loan arrival Eoin Doyle in attack.

And Whatmough believes the ‘outstanding footballer’ has plenty still to offer as the Blues head to Barnet today.

‘I know what Robbo brings to the table,’ he said.

‘He is an outstanding footballer.

‘I think no matter what, at any time of the season someone is going to get stick.

‘But Robbo is a strong player, a great player and will bounce back.

‘I believe he is getting back to how good he is and showing what he can bring to the club.

‘At the start of the season he had scored seven goals or something early on.

‘I think he’s getting back to that form.’

Homegrown defender Whatmough, who saw his first match action of 2017 as a late substitute in the 2-0 win over Blackpool on Tuesday night, believes Roberts is now over his blip to boost the Blues.

He added: ‘Every player will have a little dip throughout the season or a bit of a lack in confidence.

‘But he is back and Robbo’s qualities going forward are a great addition to the team.’