Thompson: Pompey team-mate is defenders’ nightmare

Nathan Thompson and Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nathan Thompson and Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey fans sung well past the final whistle in the previous trip to Stevanage in March 2017. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Nathan Thompson has applauded ‘defenders’ nightmare’ Jamal Lowe.

And he is convinced the winger’s potential can elevate him up the Football League ladder.

Lowe is enjoying an outstanding second half to his maiden League One campaign.

The former non-league performer claimed his sixth assist of the season in Saturday’s dramatic 3-3 draw at Rochdale.

It supplements a return of eight goals, establishing him as the Blues’ second-top scorer alongside Oli Hawkins.

While the Fratton faithful were familiar with Lowe’s talent from last season’s finale, Thompson was previously unaware of his work.

However, the summer recruit from Swindon Town was swiftly captivated by the 23-year-old’s talent.

He said: ‘I am really impressed with Jamal.

‘I’ve said from day one that I think Jamal has real potential. He has a rawness to him and it petrifies the life out of defenders when you are direct.

‘He is especially dangerous now. Jamal’s brimming with confidence, chipping in with goals and a real player and a real asset for us.

‘Teams are always seeking that. Some are looking for a player – like Jamal – to beat a line and it is a defender’s nightmare.

‘As a full-back, it is a problem when you are up against a direct winger who constantly wants the ball and gets at you – but also has the ability and quality to bring in other players and assist them.

‘At the moment he is very important to us and, with Brett scoring as well, those two have struck up a nice relationship.

‘Luckily he plays on the other flank in training games when we are playing against each other but I can imagine he can be quite a handful!’

When available, Lowe has featured in every match under Kenny Jackett this season.

His eye-catching progress earned a fresh deal in January, extending a Fratton Park stay to 2020.

Other wide players such as Kal Naismith, Gareth Evans, Matty Kennedy and Kyle Bennett have found themselves out of the side on occasions – Bennett even released.

Not Lowe, who has racked up 45 appearances so far this season – and Thompson has noticed rapid development.

He added: ‘You can see Jamal, he has a little bit more game management now.

‘He knows when to take a player on, knows when to run in behind, he is brimming with confidence and it can only be a good thing for us.

‘The more games you play, the more game management you pick up and Jamal is confident coming inside to pick up the ball – and confident with his back to play.

‘You saw with the first goal against Rochdale, he had two or three men around him and shrugged them off.

‘Then Jamal had that little bit of quality to put his head up and pick out Brett at the back post, despite slipping over.’