Walkes’ second debut delights Pompey boss

Anton Walkes returned for Pompey at Swindon. Picture: Joe Pepler
Anton Walkes returned for Pompey at Swindon. Picture: Joe Pepler
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It had been three-and-a-half months since his last Pompey outing.

But Anton Walkes was back on footballing duty at the County Ground – and in familiar colours.

The Blues’ midweek signing was handed a swift start with a spot in Kenny Jackett’s side for Saturday’s trip to Swindon.

Featuring in the centre of midfield alongside skipper for the afternoon Tom Naylor, it represented his second Pompey bow.

Walkes’ previous spell ended at Rochdale with a hamstring pull late on during April’s game.

After 12 loan appearances, he was unable to play again for the remainder of the campaign.

Yet Saturday announced his return – both for Pompey and from his injury.

And Jackett was pleased with the versatile performer’s showing before replaced by Danny Rose at half-time.

Jackett said: ‘Anton was always going to play 45 minutes, it was his first game back and hopefully he can build on that in tomorrow’s game.

‘We are pleased he’s here. He brings a lot and has a lot of power.

‘Having said that, Danny Rose did very, very well in the second half when he came on. That’s good competition.

‘Anton did well, that was his first football since Rochdale, he hasn't played any games for anybody since coming off with a hamstring injury.

‘Obviously he has recovered from the hamstring and done quite a few weeks worth of pre-season work. But playing games is playing games.

‘Hopefully he can build on that. Whether he goes to Brighton or plays at Bognor, we’ll see.’

Pompey are scheduled to take part in two fixtures tomorrow.

The first will consist of the Blues’ first-team taking on Brighton at the Premier League club’s training ground in the morning.

Then a Pompey XI will face the Rocks at Nyewood Lane, kicking off at 7.45pm.

Jackett is unsure of the make up of each side at this stage, although some of those on the bench earlier in the day can expect to feature in the evening.

Jackett added: ‘Hopefully we haven’t got any knocks and will have a full squad for tomorrow.

‘Ben Close will do a full week’s training this week and work towards Saturday, so we’ll combine what we think for the team to where the individuals are.

‘There are enough games remaining for everybody to get match fit – and for us to keep working out our team wherever we can.’