Pompey urged to persevere with wing-backs

Pompey were good value for a 1-1 draw with promotion-chasers Scunthorpe after switching to three at the back at Fratton Park on Saturday.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 14th January 2018, 8:00 pm
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Now Kenny Jackett has been urged to stick with his wing-back system by Southsea-based Corey Almond, 19, in our regular gaffer-for-a-day column.
Talking to chief sports writer Neil Allen in the wake of the League One draw, Almond gave the following verdict...
• Come on, be honest, what did you make of Pompey’s team and formation pre-match?

It was one of those where you think it looks good on paper yet could go horribly wrong.

That system especially has not gone too well for us in recent years – you need a lot of quality in that defensive back three.

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Nathan Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler

Also, with two up front in this league – and considering our style of football – it can get congested. But I thought it worked.

It was a bit mix and match but to come out with a draw against a side like Scunthorpe was a good result and I think we should persevere with that system for a few games.

• What did you make of Pompey’s performance?

The performance was good, not outstanding, but you would take that.

Nathan Thompson. Picture: Joe Pepler

Most people would have accepted a draw before kick-off.

The first half we were good against a tough team who are difficult to beat and we deserved the lead at half-time.

Scunthorpe were the better side after the break and, in fairness, I thought they would be more direct.

Instead they were fast on the counter, which caused us problems.

It was a fair result, though. Both sides deserved to get something out of the game.

• Anyone stand out?

Yes, two of them – Connor Ronan and Nathan Thompson.

Ronan was the man of he match, for me. He controlled the game, moved the ball around brilliantly and looked like he wanted it. I was really impressed.

We don’t have a midfielder like that, possessing those sort of skills and keen to run at players.

He was outstanding and I’m looking forward to seeing much more of him during his stay.

When he was substituted, Ronan received a good reception, which summed it up.

As for Thompson, for a right-back to produce a performance like that in the centre of midfield was excellent.

• So where do Pompey need to strengthen this month?

It’s difficult to say with so many injuries – you don’t know when players are going to be back.

However, I believe we need a right-back, a central midfielder and possibly a central defender, so we’ll see what happens.

We only really have Jack Whatmough as cover in the centre of defence and he is out injured.

Meanwhile, there is not enough cover at right-back.

With Stuart O’Keefe expected to be out for another six weeks we could do with a loan player to do that job.

• Corey’s ratings: Luke McGee 7; Oli Hawkins 7; Christian Burgess 7; Matt Clarke 8; Jamal Lowe 7; Dion Donohue 7; Ben Close 7; Nathan Thompson 9; Connor Ronan 9; Kal Naismith 6; Brett Pitman 6