Portsmouth boss tells defender to carry on competing

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Nathan Thompson is under instructions to remain committed as the inevitable suspension looms.

The tough-tackling right-back collected his fourth booking in seven matches on Tuesday night as Pompey defeated Coventry 1-0.

Nathan Thompson will not be toning down his game as suspension looms. Picture: Joe Pepler

Nathan Thompson will not be toning down his game as suspension looms. Picture: Joe Pepler

He now has until November 30 to avoid a further yellow card – or face a one-match suspension. Surely an inescapable fate.

Kenny Jackett has no qualms over such an outcome for a player whose combative nature he regards highly.

Thompson is expected to retain his place against Gillingham on Saturday – and compete in his own inimitable manner. 

Jackett said: ‘Bookings and committed defenders seem to go hand-in-hand, one goes with the other.

‘I don’t think any of my players get excessive bookings. Probably the worst run I’ve had was when Ben Thompson got three in his first three games – and he has adjusted that since.

‘We don’t want to lose any of them to suspension, similarly I wouldn’t want them not to be committed either. They get blocks and tackles in because it’s part of competing for the points.

‘Nathan gets his angles very well and when he comes out combines well with Jamal Lowe. He has made some telling contributions since he has been here.

‘He was very good on Tuesday night, he really was.

‘Jodi Jones came on and it was their best spell, the crowd were building up and it looked like wave after wave. That spell looked like it might turn the game, it was quite close at that time.

‘Then they moved him over to the other side and then the game fizzled out. Nathan saw it through very well.

‘He’s produced some very good displays since he has been here and been professional around the place.’

The recent return to fitness of Anton Walkes has stoked up right-back competition.

And the former Spurs man is waiting to capitalise on any future suspension.

Jackett added: ‘There is competition at right-back and we wanted that.

‘That’s seven defenders for four positions, which is pretty good. We have tried to get two for every position or thereabouts.

‘It’s going to help us because, over the course of the season, we’ll need them all.’