Portsmouth boss challenges ex-Spurs man Walkes to focus on football

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Anton Walkes has been urged to focus on football following his off-field transgressions.

The right-back appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and admitted driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Anton Walkes is under consideration for Pompey duty at Rochdale in the FA Cup. Picture: Joe Pepler

Anton Walkes is under consideration for Pompey duty at Rochdale in the FA Cup. Picture: Joe Pepler

Magistrates fined Walkes £1,070, issued a two-year driving ban and instructed he carried out a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work.

The former Spurs man subsequently trained with his Pompey team-mates 24-hours later, ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup trip to Rochdale.

Kenny Jackett has already pledged his support for the versatile performer, who had a warrant issued for his arrest on Tuesday having failed to turn up for court.

And Walkes will be considered for selection in the Spotland encounter.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘Anton has been fine in training.

‘He’s had quite a lot of problems, which have been well documented, and is going to learn now and learn the hard way unfortunately.

‘For him, all that matters now is how he goes forward, how he comes out of this situation and whether he can now get his head down, work really hard and concentrate on his football and get over these problems.

‘He has to take responsibility for his actions now. As ever, when you are 21 and make mistakes, it’s just about how you go forward now.

‘I don’t think it will affect his football, it’s settled now, it is what it is.

‘It will probably be hanging over him slightly, but he can look forward to trying to put things straight and enjoying his football, doing his best and working hard to get back into the team.

‘He wasn’t sub on Tuesday night for obvious reasons, but will travel up to Rochdale, Whether he’ll be starting, sub or 19th man, I’m not sure.’

Jackett will use his managerial experience to aid Walkes’ recovery. 

He added: ‘I’ve come across most issues and if you are looking to people that are 21 years old, generally it only reflects society.

‘Whatever is going on is reflected in football, the only difference is the publicity angle. There are many advantages being a professional footballer, they are outweigh the disadvantages, believe me.

‘For him it’s a tough one because he’s banned from driving now, he’s fined, he’s doing community service.’