Eastie's heading in right direction
Simon Eastwood has been lauded for his resurgent form.
Pompey caretaker boss Guy Whittingham has praised his first-choice keeper as the Blues show signs of shoring up their defence.
Eastwood delivered a composed display as Pompey kept just their fourth clean sheet of the season at Hartlepool last week.
And the 23-year-old followed that up with an impressive performance in the 1-1 draw against Carlisle at Fratton Park on Saturday.
Whittingham admitted he had sympathy for the former Huddersfield stopper as he was often left exposed on Pompey’s miserable nine-game losing run.
Alan Knight has made his return to Pompey as goalkeeping coach after John Keeley left for Blackburn.
But Whittingham believed there had been more to Eastwood showing promise than that.
He said: ‘It’s all about confidence.
‘When goals are being put past him all the time it’s not always his fault.
‘You have to feel for him because he has kept us in games plenty of times.
‘I don’t think it’s just Alan Knight coming in that’s done it.
‘I’m sure he’ll have his ups and downs but, at the moment, he’s on his ups.’
Eastwood has undertaken a speedy introduction into Pompey’s first-team picture after operating as an understudy for Reading loanee Mikkel Andersen for much of the season.
Whittingham felt it was worth remembering Eastwood was playing Blue Square Bet North football for FC Halifax Town just last year.
He said: ‘He’s a good goalkeeper, Eastie, and he’s back in a league first-team environment after being out of it for a while.’