Portsmouth boss: Ex-Spurs defender Anton Walkes has turned around his troubles

Kenny Jackett has lauded Anton Walkes’ Pompey rejuvenation.

Pompey right-back Anton Walkes
Pompey right-back Anton Walkes

The former Spurs man has turned around his Fratton Park fortunes following a troubled period in his personal life.

After subsequently handing himself in, he was issued with a two-year driving ban, a £1,070 fine and a 12-month community order.

Pompey right-back Anton Walkes

At the time, Jackett challenged the 21-year-old to knuckle down and focus on his Pompey playing career.

Now Walkes is impressing at right-back during the absence of the injured Nathan Thompson.

And the Blues boss has praised the youngster’s positive response.

Jackett said: ‘Everybody makes mistakes – and Anton has come through it well.

‘At times we have questioned his fitness and he has got himself fit now, particularly in the last couple of months. He has to stay fit, stay prepared and that will give him the chance to play as well as he has.

‘He has put in some good performances since he came in and, to give him a good compliment, we haven’t missed Nathan Thompson in the team.

‘There have been mistakes. You wouldn’t want those issues to happen, but that’s not the real world so he’s had a good go at sorting a few things out off the pitch

‘You can see it now in terms of his performances that Anton’s got himself into a good place, sorted his troubles out and is playing well.

‘Off the field he has needed to sort himself out, which he has done. On the field, in terms of his training, his fitness has come on, his professionalism has come on and he is concentrating on his football.

‘That is getting the best out of him.

‘Anton has to recognise what has got him there, learn from his mistakes in the past. Nathan will be back in a few weeks, so he needs to keep up that form.’

Walkes was signed from Spurs in the summer following a successful loan spell.

And Jackett’s retains belief in his talent.

He added: ‘Anton has a lot of ability, is very good athletically and links well with Lowe. He must keep himself in that rhythm.

‘There is talent there, we saw it last year – and in these recent games we have seen it again.

‘Earlier in the season I felt he wasn’t as fit as he could be, that's not the case now.’