Fit-again Thompson relishing Portsmouth right-back scrap
Nathan Thompson is relishing a right-back scrap following his first-team return.
The defender was introduced at half-time against Plymouth following a groin injury to Anton Walkes.
Thompson subsequently helped Kenny Jackett's men to a 3-0 success over League One's bottom club to lift the Blues into second spot.
It represented a first outing since sustaining a knee injury against Luton on the opening day.
Now he must fight it out with Walkes for regular right-back residence.
Thompson said: '˜The gaffer knows if anyone steps out thenÂ he has quality coming in and the boys that came on against Plymouth didÂ a good job in other lads' absence.
'˜Brett Pitman gotÂ 25 goals last season and he's sat on the bench as well, it just shows you how much quality's in this team '“Â a team capable of promotion this season.
'˜In Â previous seasons,Â if I've been out injured and come back in there hasn't been a huge amount of competition.
'˜To face that sharpensÂ your game up and makes sure you are on it at all times.Â You can't afford to be sloppy because you know someoneÂ is there to take your position.
'˜AntonÂ has looked solid for us. You look at defensive displaysÂ he's been in personally and as part of a team '“Â and he has beenÂ solid, good goingÂ forward and formed a good partnership with Jamal.
'˜That's what it's all about, having quality all over the side and lads capable of filling in when needed.'Â
During Thompson's five gamesÂ on the sidelines, Walkes establishedÂ himself at right-back.Â Â
Now the former Swindon man is fit again.
He added: '˜It was my knee, there was tendonitisÂ in there and I had a shot against Luton which aggravated that slightly.
'˜I've had an injection which settled that down and sortedÂ the muscles around it.
'˜Once you've been out it's important to build up that match fitness. You can do as much running as you want by the side of the pitch,Â but you need to be on itÂ .'Â Â