'A shining light for Portsmouth': Midfielder on why ex-Arsenal starlet and Spurs man of the match will bounce back from Peterborough mistake
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Zak Swanson’s ill-timed 43rd-minute challenge on Ephron Mason-Clark inside the penalty area helped the Posh claim an unassailable two-goal lead on Saturday.
It Jonson Clarke-Harris to grab his second of the game, with the striker having earlier capitalised on slack marking at the back post.
A late rally inspired by substitutes Reeco Hackett and Michael Jacobs saw the Blues pull one back through Nathan Thompson’s own goal.
Yet it finished in a 2-1 defeat as John Mousinho experienced his first defeat at Pompey’s head coach.
Nonetheless, despite enduring a tough match, Thompson believes talented team-mate Swanson won’t be affected by his error.
He told The News: ‘I didn’t get a good look at the penalty, I was blocked out by the referee and looking where my man was, so I didn’t see the tackle, to be honest with you.
‘I cannot say how that's going to affect Zak, but, speaking from the outside looking in, I don't think it will at all. He’s a professional and will be right at his best next Saturday (Barnsley).
‘Zak has been brilliant in recent weeks. He's a young lad in his first season in professional football in terms of this level, it’s different to what his experiences are.
‘He was outstanding against Spurs and outstanding in recent weeks – he has been brilliant for us this year.
‘Technically he is outstanding, he can run up and down that right-hand side all the time, recognises the game, and is a really gifted player.
‘Zak has come into a team when we weren’t doing so well at times – and then been part where we were doing well.
‘He has been a real shining light for the club. He’s a young lad with such a long way to go in the game and I think he’ll do really well.’
Thompson was present for Swanson’s first training session when the squad jetted out to Murcia, Spain, for a July training camp.
Recruited from Arsenal after coming through the ranks and skippering the side at youth levels, the right-back immediately caught his eye.
The 28-year-old added: ‘You always knew that Zak had the ability. From the very first day you could see technically he was very gifted – and has come on in leaps and bounds.
‘Good players, like Zak, understand the game and slot in seamlessly when put into the first-team.’