Praise for McLeod after testing period

Izale McLeod scores from the spot having previously missed a penalty against Leyton Orient on Tuesday    Picture: Barry Zee
Izale McLeod scores from the spot having previously missed a penalty against Leyton Orient on Tuesday Picture: Barry Zee

Gaffer: Surreal experience but a deserved Pompey win

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Izale McLeod’s resolve has been praised following a testing week for the Pompey striker.

Caretaker boss Guy Whittingham has applauded the strength of character McLeod has shown on and off the pitch.

The forward was this week subjected to vile racist abuse aimed at him on Twitter.

The incident sparked an outpouring of fury from Blues fans, who were left disgusted, with the matter since reported to police.

Whittingham explained it’s been business as usual for McLeod in training, however, and that he hasn’t even mentioned the controversy.

He feels the 28-year-old also showed great mental toughness in the 3-2 defeat to Leyton Orient on Tuesday.

McLeod broke Pompey’s barren 546-minute goal drought from the penalty spot in the second half – having missed an earlier spot-kick.

Whittingham feels that showed big-time bravery from the striker, who took his tally for the season to 10 goals.

The temporary Pompey boss has nothing but praise for McLeod’s strength of mind.

He said: ‘I haven’t seen it (the racist tweet) but I’ve been made aware of it.

‘It’s obviously something you don’t condone.

‘The club are handling it and Izale hasn’t even mentioned it.

‘When it came to the penalty, I think everyone was thinking “what are you doing?”.

‘But he showed real character to do that.

‘My lad is a ball boy at the Fratton end and he said: “Dad, everyone was saying don’t take it”.

‘For Izale to put it in showed character. And that’s the type of character we need at this club – people who will do that sort of thing.

‘It would’ve been easy for someone else to take that penalty, that’s for sure.’

Pompey have also been boosted by the news Scott Allan wants to stay at Fratton Park as his loan spell comes to a close after today’s Coventry match.

Allan has also been through a period of turmoil. He was questioned by police when a man was left critically injured by a car Allan was driving.

But the 20-year-old’s form has been unaffected as he delivered a fine second-half performance on Tuesday.

Whittingham said: ‘Scott seems fine. I wouldn’t have thought anything different.

‘After that second-half performance on Tuesday it (the accident) didn’t seem to be on his mind whatsoever.

‘He wanted to get on the ball, provide things and he scored a goal, as well.

‘The way he can get between the lines and keep it going the same way is positive.

‘He’s not scared to pick up the ball and run at people.’

n Pompey’s League One match at Swindon on New Year’s Day has been brought forward to a 2pm kick-off.