Mark Catlin: Portsmouth need Championship football to keep Nathan Thompson

Pompey must reach the Championship to stand a chance of retaining Nathan Thompson.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 6:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 7:30 am
Nathan Thompson is out of contract at the season's end. Picture: Joe Pepler

That’s the message from Mark Catlin, who has revealed the defender’s desire to step up a level has prompted contract talks to be shelved.

The 28-year-old has never played above League One during a career with Swindon and now the Blues.

That driving ambition to progress has resulted in Thompson indicating he wishes to wait until the summer to assess his future.

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Nathan Thompson is out of contract at the season's end. Picture: Joe Pepler

Out of contract at Fratton Park on June 30, it can be perceived as a risky call by the popular right-back.

However, Catlin is relaxed about the ongoing situation.

The Blues’ chief executive said: ‘It is plain and simple for both parties.

‘Nathan has told us he has a desire to play at the highest level possible and just wants to reserve his rights on that. That’s it in a nutshell.

‘We have stated our intent to him that we want him to stay beyond the end of the campaign, but Nathan wants to reserve his right, specifically at his age, in terms of where he sees himself playing next season.

‘There is no animosity between the club and Nathan, I would like to make that absolutely clear.

'We have spoken to him about a new contract, he has politely said he wants to see how the season pans out before making a decision one way or the other.

‘At that time, from a club point of view, we may have moved on, who knows.

‘But that is his right and it’s nothing that will detract from him from now until the end of the season.

‘As we saw on Saturday, he is committed to the club.’

Thompson made his 65th Pompey appearance in the 5-1 victory over Bradford.

However, the right-back was forced off in the second half following a sickening clash of heads with Matt Clarke as both attempted to clear the ball.

The ex-Swindon man lost several teeth in the collision, but is anticipated to be available for this coming weekend’s trip to Charlton.

As a free agent, Thompson arrived on the south coast as Jackett’s first Pompey signing in June 2017.

And the Blues boss is eager to retain his services.

Catlin added: ‘As with all players, if we get to the Championship our chance of keeping any player and/or attracting others increases significantly.

‘In terms of the level above, we have done that before, such as Gareth Evans, Kyle Bennett, loads of players.

‘There is no difference with Nathan Thompson.’