Crisis averted – but Pompey boss had right-back options

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey closing in on Fratton Park friendly

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POMPEY’s potential right-back crisis has swiftly been averted.

Not that Kenny Jackett was panicked over the proposition of finding an emergency stand-in.

Pompey defender Nathan Thompson

Pompey defender Nathan Thompson

Nathan Thompson’s dead leg has eased to the extent he was able to return to training yesterday.

Earlier in the week, the former Swindon man was regarded as a doubt following the problem which forced him off at half-time against Charlton.

With Anton Walkes already ruled out for the season, the identity of a replacement against Bury would certainly have been intriguing.

Yet Jackett had other options on standby – namely Brandon Haunstrup and Gareth Evans.

I do think maybe Gareth’s crossing ability from the right-back area would be better for us and we could have switched him

Kenny Jackett

And he would have been comfortable using either.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘Nathan trained yesterday so will be fit for Bury.

‘When you are looking at others who can step in, Brandon has played at right-back quite a bit through youth football.

‘Sometimes I have done it where you can put different players in there, but generally it works out either way that someone who is a natural full-back or has played full-back helps.

‘I do think maybe Gareth’s crossing ability from the right-back area would be better for us and we could have switched him.

‘They would be my options, obviously Gareth also has experience from last year of playing a whole season in that particular position for Portsmouth.

‘But Thompson will be fit, there are no problems. I expect him to be available tomorrow.’

While Thompson’s availability represents encouraging news, nothing has altered with others to have occupied the treatment table of late.

Jack Whatmough is expected to be out for at least three weeks with his groin problem.

And although Walkes and Danny Rose are currently outside training on grass, Jackett does not believe either will be back this campaign.

That means they will be sidelined for both the Gigg Lane trip and then the season finale when Peterborough visit Fratton Park.

Jackett added: ‘We have Rose and Walkes outside and working, but there is no real expectation from my medical staff that they will be fit.

‘They certainly won’t be going to Bury

‘And it will be tough for either of them to make it next week against Peterborough.’