Defender open to Pompey stay

On-loan Spurs defender Anton Walkes
On-loan Spurs defender Anton Walkes

Jackett: Fourth place now open to Pompey

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ANTON WALKES thanked Pompey for giving him the first-team football he craves.

And the defender has told how he’s open to remaining at Fratton Park beyond the end of the season.

Kenny Jackett has shown faith in the Spurs loanee by giving him six straight starts, after he arrived from White Hart Lane for the rest of the campaign.

Walkes has shown promise in that time, with a debut goal against Doncaster, followed by displays showcasing a willingness to get forward and provide decent supply from his right-back role.

Chief executive Mark Catlin has indicated either written or verbal agreements are in place for all except one of the Blues’ current loanees.

Walkes is one of those who could well have a future at Fratton Park as Jackett plans for the future.

The 21-year-old thanked his manager for giving him the chance he’s receiving, as he weighs up what lies ahead for him.

When asked if the talk of an agreement being in place could apply to him, Walkes said: ‘It possibly could, but right now it’s all about what’s best for both teams.

‘I’m just someone who enjoys his football.

‘It’s about playing games and being out in the real world.

‘Now is good to get out and work on myself. I feel I can push on here – and I need to push on now.

‘I wouldn’t say the level is something you can turn your head to. That would be disrespectful.

‘I’m here and being here is something I’ve enjoyed. I’ve loved every moment of it.

‘This is a great club with a great history – and in the next few years it’s going to move in the right direction.

‘I’m looking forward to the future.’

His immediate future is focusing on the 11 Pompey games remaining this season, starting against Gillingham tomorrow at Fratton Park.

Walkes is out to do as much as he can to help his loan club across that period.

He added: ‘Personally, I want to dominate my performances.

‘I just want to improve myself as a person and as a player.

‘I just want to do the right things moving forward for this club.

‘Just to be around a club like Portsmouth can do good things for you.

‘There’s great people here, it’s a nice place to be – that’s certainly made things a lot easier for me.’

Walkes is once again likely to be part of a youthful Pompey side against the Gills tomorrow.

After rolling out a side with an average age of just 22.5 in the past two outings, it’s set to be more of the same at Fratton Park.

Walkes said: ‘As a young player I give great respect to the gaffer for giving young players a chance.

‘He’s prepared to invest time and effort into you – and that makes me feel so much more welcome.

‘He shows faith in you and not many managers will do that at a young age.

‘When he works with young players it’s such a good thing to be part of.

‘It’s only going to improve me as a player personally and the rest of the lads as a group.’