Pompey boss: We need more Nathan Thompsons

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Kenny Jackett surveyed his summer recruitment plans and insisted: We need more Nathan Thompsons.

The Pompey boss is craving a greater competitive spirit among his side as he plots the future at Fratton Park.

Pompey midfielder Nathan Thompson

Pompey midfielder Nathan Thompson

Thompson’s present four-match ban in recognition of two red cards this season dictates he won’t be back in league action until March 25.

Nonetheless, Jackett admires the commitment consistently demonstrated by the right-back, who has also featured five times in midfield.

It’s an aggressive edge he feels is lacking from his Blues team at times.

And the Pompey boss would welcome players with similar attributes during close-season strengthening.

I don’t want him out of the team, I like his competitive spirit and we need more like him, not less

Kenny Jackett

Jackett said: ‘Nathan’s had a good season for us.

‘We need more Nathan Thompsons really. This summer we need more Nathan Thompsons, both on and off the ball.

‘I don’t want him out of the team, I like his competitive spirit and we need more like him, not less.

‘It’s about his ability, his competitiveness, how much he cares. I think he is a fantastic lad and have found him really good to work with.

‘Obviously, he’s had two red cards this season, I understand that, but I like his competitive nature – even if it does seem to be the longest ban ever with still two games to go.

‘They have been red cards for tackles – questionable tackles to a degree. I am not one to moan, necessarily, and I accept decisions.

‘It’s different if it’s reds for dissent, but when it is your player competing for you then you tend to run with it.

‘Nathan has good balance, is at his peak around 26-27, and we haven’t got that many in that age bracket.’

Thompson was Jackett’s first recruit as Fratton Park boss last June, although the club had already been eyeing the free-agent.

However, a foot injury ruled him out of the entire pre-season programme.

It wasn’t until September that the 27-year-old finally made his bow, swiftly establishing himself as a regular.

Right-back has been Thompson’s allocated position, although on occasions he has operated as an emergency midfielder.

Jackett added: ‘Nathan has done very well, with right-back his main role.

‘However, he is adaptable enough to go into different roles as well, his attitude is good enough.

‘He has done okay in midfield, five games in there, but in the long-term I wouldn’t put him down as a midfield player.

‘He is a defender, he is a back-four player, definitely, but when injuries come and he has got to go in front of the back four, then he can do that as well.

‘It’s not something I would want to do on a permanent basis, but with the type of injuries we’ve had this year he has a good enough attitude and enough experience to fill it.’