Pompey boss’ delight at his comeback kid

Drew Talbot has been given a new lease of life at Pompey under Kenny Jackett
Drew Talbot has been given a new lease of life at Pompey under Kenny Jackett
0
Have your say

A new cry has emerged from the Fratton faithful this season.

For its recipient, it represents a remarkable elevation from bomb-squad stalwart to first-team presence.

Drew Talbot had spent almost a year out of a Pompey league starting XI before being named as a surprise inclusion on the opening day of the campaign.

He has subsequently featured in all three of Kenny Jackett’s teams, impressing with solid performances and excellent commitment.

Clearly the right-back has favourably also caught the eye of supporters, who have taken to often shouting ‘Drew’ after fine moments.

Although starting the opening five league games of last season as the Blues’ right-back, Talbot soon slipped out of Paul Cook’s plans following injury.

But Jackett has been delighted with the 31-year-old’s contribution since replacing Cook in June.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘I have been pleased with Drew’s performances coming in at right-back.

‘He had a very good pre-season and shown a real determination coming back to earn a place. I have seen that in his fitness, attitude and quality in what he has done

‘It had been a year since he played in the league, but he has demonstrated good determination and good perseverance to play for Portsmouth.

‘Drew’s an experienced defender and, in terms of a right-back in a back four, he knows his angles and produced some very good covering clearances in the first period against Oxford, tucking around the centre-back.

‘He looks solid and makes the right decisions, he’s got a little bit of everything in terms of he’s quite hard to beat, good in the air and his positioning is good.

‘I also hope it then frees up Gareth (Evans) slightly to get forward and get assists and goals, which helps us down the right-hand side.

‘With the injuries we’ve had to lads in our back line, Matt Clarke’s a miss, Nathan Thompson has been out and now Tareiq Holmes-Dennis. But that has opened things up for the back four and we have players here so you can cater for this.

‘I have been pleased with Drew, he’s taken his opportunity well and sets a good example every day in terms of professionalism and attitude.’

It remains to be seen whether Talbot is included in tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Fulham under-21s (7.45pm).

The fixture offers the opportunity for Jackett to look at his fringe players by rotating his squad in the much-maligned competition.

Regardless, it will be no slur on Talbot, who has so far started both league matches and also the Carabao Cup defeat at Cardiff.

Jackett added: ‘League One is a step up in level in terms of defending, you can see there is more power, more pace around.

‘It’s not necessarily as easy to defend and we have sometimes been one or two off our best back four.

‘But Drew he has stepped in at both right and left-back and done a good job.’