Eastwood progress bodes well for future

Pompey keeper Simon Eastwood   Picture: Barry Zee
Pompey keeper Simon Eastwood Picture: Barry Zee
Pompey suffered defeat at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss pledges to resolve defensive issues

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Simon Eastwood has won praise for his impressive response to adversity.

The Pompey goalkeeper was criticised for failing to keep out the only goal of the game in the recent 1-0 defeat at Oldham.

But Eastwood has not allowed that blemish to affect him and turned in a fine display in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Doncaster Rovers, making two excellent saves.

And caretaker Blues boss Guy Whittingham has been impressed at the 23-year-old’s reaction.

Whittingham said: ‘Eastie kept us in it in the first half at Doncaster.

‘He did really well in a one-on-one situation and then made another really good save near the end of the game to keep out the shot from the edge of the box.

‘They were two very different saves. He stood up really well for that first one and made it hard for the striker.

‘The one near the end was a great, athletic stop – but maybe he should have caught it. He gave a corner away and put us under pressure!

‘People might remember the mistake at Oldham a few weeks ago but we saw the other side of Simon at Doncaster and I was really pleased with him.

‘He has worked very hard on his game and he is getting better and better.’

Pompey have definitely tightened up their defence in recent weeks.

In their eight-game improvement – which has included just two defeats – Eastwood has conceded only six goals and kept two clean sheets.

And Whittingham is confident his young keeper will continue to thrive if he maintains his attitude and work ethic.

Whittingham said: ‘He is the type of character who wants to learn and work hard on the training pitch.

‘He deserves a lot of praise for that.

‘We know what he can do but he is only a young man and I think he is improving as a goalkeeper all the time.’