Defender set for Pompey return

Pompey defender Paul Robinson Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defender Paul Robinson Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Pompey boss lays down end-of-season demands

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Paul Robinson has been given the green light to return to the Pompey defence against Stevenage.

The 32-year-old missed Saturday’s defeat to Bury with a hip knock.

In his absence, Ben Chorley was given a start, after being ruled out of the previous nine matches through injury.

Yet Robinson was yesterday back in Blues training to put himself in the frame for tonight’s Fratton Park clash with Boro (7.45pm).

Jack Whatmough has also trained after recovering from his hamstring injury.

It is Robinson, though, who is expected to receive a first-team recall for the visit of Graham Westley’s side.

Andy Awford said: ‘Robbo is fine, he trained yesterday morning.

‘On Saturday he was 30 per cent fit so it wouldn’t have been fair on him.

‘He wanted to play, he’s a warrior, and if he had been our last centre-half then he would have, but we had Ben Chorley to come in.

‘So there was not a need in my opinion. It wouldn’t have been fair on Robbo, that’s not the right thing to do.

‘The other consideration is, had he played and taken another whack on it, we would probably be missing him for another two or three games. There was that risk.

‘The sensible thing would have been for him not to play and he is available for selection tonight.

‘Jack Whatmough also trained yesterday morning, after completing fitness tests on Saturday with the physios.

‘There are only the four injured, the three long-termers, while Webbo (Adam Webster) is a few weeks away.’

Meanwhile, youngster Conor Chaplin has been rewarded for his Academy form by being handed professional terms.

The Portsmouth-born youngster bagged a hat-trick in Saturday’s impressive 6-1 mauling of Cheltenham.

His second three-goal haul of the campaign, Chaplin has now netted 11 goals in 11 matches for Mikey Harris’ side.

Aged 17, the forward is a second-year scholar but has signed professional terms early as Pompey seek to retain their talented young performers.