Whatmough: Great to have my Pompey mentor back

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He was once Jack Whatmough’s mentor in the centre of Pompey’s defence.

Now Paul Robinson will be guiding the 21-year-old off the pitch, after being installed as Kenny Jackett’s defensive coach.

Jack Whatmough in action against the Hawks on Saturday Picture: Neil Marshall

Jack Whatmough in action against the Hawks on Saturday Picture: Neil Marshall

The appointment is viewed as ‘massive’ by Whatmough, who regards his former team-mate as a key influence in his Blues development.

During the 2014-15 campaign, the duo partnered each other 20 times in Pompey colours, sometimes within a back three.

And Whatmough’s admiration for his ex-Fratton Park skipper is clear.

The Gosport youngster said: ‘I played alongside Robbo and he is someone that helped me massively, on and off the pitch.

Paul Robinson, right, alongside former defensive partner Jack Whatmough

Paul Robinson, right, alongside former defensive partner Jack Whatmough

‘Just little things like timings for sleep, my diet. Anything that I needed advice about he was the one I’d speak to.

‘Robbo helped me as a player and no doubt with him now coming onto the staff, it will help other boys coming through – or anyone at the club.

‘It is a massive appointment, he’s a warrior.

‘I remember the game against Luton (March 2015) when he fractured his cheekbone and carried on. That added to my game a little bit, I thought: “He’s doing that, look at him, I want to add that to me now”.

‘I was 17 or 18 at the time and respect Robbo massively. He matured me as a person in the year I played with him, he made me what I am now.

‘He will die for the cause, that’s the sort of person he is. I want to add that to my game.’

That Luton match proved to the last of Robinson’s 38 appearances, with a broken cheekbone ruling him out of the campaign’s remainder.

In August 2015, new boss Paul Cook allowed the central defender to leave for AFC Wimbledon.

Now he’s back at Fratton Park, combining coaching twice a week with his Hawks playing duties.

Whatmough added: ‘You learn from experienced players. 

‘I remember going into the gym with Bondz N’Gala and seeing him lift these weights and I’m thinking: “How are you doing that?”

‘If he’s that strong, I want to be that strong.

‘Someone's a warrior and clubs want him because he’s a warrior. Someone’s good on the ball, clubs want him because he’s good on the ball.

‘If you have all of those, hopefully you’re in a good position.’