Pompey's Walkes boosted by friendly fitness burst

Anton Walkes is convinced he is finally up to speed following a breathless week of friendly action.

Sunday, 29th July 2018, 4:26 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th July 2018, 4:34 pm
Anton Walkes is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring against FC Utrecht. Picture: Ben Queenborough

The Spurs recruit completed his first 90 minutes since April 2 during Saturday's visit of FC Utrecht.

He was among four Pompey players who featured for the full duration in the 1-1 Fratton Park draw.

It added to the 45 minutes at Swindon days after his Blues return, while on Tuesday there were 51 minutes at Brighton.

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Now fully recovered from the hamstring problem which ended last term's campaign early, Walkes believes his fitness is now optimised.

He said: '˜Thanks to the gaffer, he has thrown me back in. It has been a challenge but it's important to get through it.

'˜There were the 45 minutes against Swindon to start off with, increased against Brighton, and then Saturday was an opportunity for a complete run out. I've done that and look forward to next week.

'˜It was my first 90 minutes since my injury in April, it has been a long time but all the hard work everybody's put in has given great rewards.

'˜It's going to get harder once we get into the season, that's what it's about. I'll take it session by session and game by game.

'˜I feel I'm in great condition and doing more now just to make sure, just little things.

'˜With Saturday and Tuesday games at the start of the season, that is when you have to be ready '“ and your body needs to be as good as it can be.'

Jack Whatmough, Lee Brown and Brandon Haunstrup were the others on duty against the Dutch side who completed the full 90 minutes.

Pompey had fallen behind to Sean Klaiber's stunning 30-yard strike, only for Walkes to level on 44 minutes with his own collector's item.

The 21-year-old added: '˜It has been great preparation for pre-season.

'˜We kept in there against Utrecht, they are a very good side who like to play football and are something different to what we are used to.

'˜There will be quality coming down from the Championship and that is what they like to do when in our league, they to try to impose themselves.

'˜That's great prep for big sides and those games when we're going to have to dig in and find an extra yard this year.'