Whittingham wary of return of the Mac

Izale McLeod in action for new club MK Dons
Izale McLeod in action for new club MK Dons
Pompey suffered defeat to Charlton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gaffer: So predictable Pompey would suffer defeat

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Guy Whittingham admits he is wary of the return of the anti-hero tonight.

Izale McLeod, who scored 11 goals for Pompey this season but still failed to win over a large section of fans, left Fratton Park in January to return to MK Dons.

The striker, who was often criticised for his lack of work-rate and attitude, has not found the net in the five games he’s played since going back to his former club.

But it would surprise nobody if he broke that duck when reporting back at his old south coast stomping ground.

And Whittingham admits Pompey are missing his attacking threat.

The caretaker Blues boss said: ‘We have missed Izale’s goals. You can say what you like about him but he scored goals for us.

‘He was up there towards the top of the goalscoring charts.

‘You can possibly see him coming back and scoring against us.

‘He’s a nice guy, scored goals for us and we are missing those goals.

‘We certainly need to be on our toes because we know, on the day and if he is playing, he will get chances. We have to try to snuff him out.’

McLeod remains Pompey’s leading scorer this term by some considerable distance, having netted 10 times in the league and once in the JP Trophy during his brief time at the club.

And it says much for the Blues’ lack of attacking potency that defender Gabor Gyepes is now the top scorer at the club, with just four goals to his name.

However, Whittingham has no problem with the striker, who cut short his stay at Fratton.

He said: ‘There was no way he could have stayed. From a finance point of view, we couldn’t keep him – and he wanted to move on as well, which is fair enough.

‘I have got no qualms about that whatsoever. He’s a decent enough striker at this level to score goals.’

Meanwhile, Whittingham is weighing up whether to restore David Connolly to his starting line-up.

The former Republic of Ireland international returned to action from the bench against Oldham on Saturday after recovering from a hamstring injury.

‘David came off the bench and did well,’ said Whittingham.

‘He gives us something a bit different but we’ve got a good mixture of strikers.

‘We’ve got some who are technically decent on the floor and we’ve got players who give you an aerial threat.’