Will Rooney looks back on Pompey’s clash with Wigan at the DW Stadium and dissects the talking points...
Chaplin showcases credentials
A regular starting berth is something Conor Chaplin is craving at Pompey.
The Blues’ prized asset has nowhere near began as many matches from the offset as he’d have liked – despite a superb goalscoring record.
A goal in midweek for Pompey Reserves would have given Chaplin confidence and was brimming to get another against Wigan.
The Worthing talent was used as an impact substitute under former boss Paul Cook for the most part and has operated in a similar role under Kenny Jackett during the early part of the campaign.
However, he portrayed his goalscoring competence to both his ex-boss and his new manager. Chaplin wants to etch himself onto the goal sheet in every game. He takes up dangerous positions to ensure he gives himself the greatest chance possible of netting
The 20-year-old had been on the pitch just two minutes before equalising for Pompey.
He slipped away from marker Dan Burn and met Brandon Haunstrup’s perfectly-weighted cross with a cushioned header that was guided into the far corner past the stretching Christian Walton.
Jackett is searching for the right system around Brett Pitman after trying several formulas.
Chaplin showcased his credentials for the vacant role to be filled.
Expect more of the same from McGee
It was one of those games where everything went right for Luke McGee
Signed as David Forde’s replacement from Spurs in the summer, it was crucial he began his Fratton Park career with a bang.
A costly error at Oxford United wasn’t the way he wanted to start, but McGee responded in the best possible manner.
The 21-year-old could do little to prevent Ivan Toney’s opener on eight minutes as Wigan cut apart Pompey’s defence.
But the Latics failed to add to their tally and it was mainly down to the heroics of McGee.
Towering at 6ft 4in, he was adept at getting down low and made superb stop with his feet from Toney seven minutes later, as well as a full-length strech to push away Lee Evans’ stinging shot in the 41st minute.
There might be a couple of mistakes from McGee over the course of the season as he continues to improve and mature.
But there will also be plenty more top-draw saves that will keep the Blues in matches and win them precious points.
Defensive decision for Jackett to make
With Matt Clarke nearing full fitness, Kenny Jackett will soon have a big decision to make regarding his defensive situation.
Christian Burgess and Clarke shared a formidable partnership that saw Pompey register not just the best defensive record in League Two but the joint-second best outside the top flight last season.
Jack Whatmough has replaced the injured Clarke this term and has been top class so far.
Powerful in the air and superb at reading play, Whatmough is growing with every game and handled Wigan’s potent attacking threat superbly.
Clarke will likely come back into the team after a superb campaign last term and impressed in pre-season before picking up a groin injury.
Whatmough would feel harshly treated if he was dropped to the bench.
Having played in a back three last term at times, Jackett could well adopt those tactics to complement all three.