Academy youngster handed Portsmouth recall - despite Kenny Jackett prevented from watching him

Charlie Bell has been entrusted with assisting Pompey’s latest Wembley charge in the EFL Trophy.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 3:16 pm
Updated Monday, 7th December 2020, 5:08 pm
Former Mayfield School pupil Charlie Bell will again start for Pompey as they return to Papa John's Trophy action. Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty Images.

Although Kenny Jackett admits he has not seen the midfielder in action since his last first-team outing.

And he will retain his place for tomorrow night’s knock-out fixture at Cheltenham.

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WIth Jackett making 11 changes, Whaddon Road will provide another first-team opportunity for Bell, along with fellow local lads Haji Mnoga and Alfie Stanley.

Yet with the Academy training and playing away from the training ground at present due to coronavirus regulations, Pompey’s boss has been unable to watch him since West Ham.

Jackett told The News: ‘Charlie’s had a good season for our youth team and played in the West Ham game. We’ll see how he develops, he is only in his second year as a scholar.

‘It’s now very much how he does going forward after so far having a successful season in our under-18s.

‘I haven’t see him playing in those particular youth games, but obviously I keep in close contact with under-18 staff – and will he start at Cheltenham.

‘We have quite a balanced team and I am looking forward to seeing it play. It’s quite an even distribution of younger and experienced players.’

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Striker Stanley also started against West Ham – and is expected to join Bell in the Blues team at Cheltenham.

Having graduated from the Academy, the 18-year-old has not featured in any match since that 1-0 Fratton Park defeat a month ago.

Jackett added: ‘Alfie had a short spell before the second lockdown at Bognor and since then he has been in and around our bench.

‘It has been a little frustrating for him in terms of game time, but that is just down to the covid situation, there is nothing anybody can do about that.

‘He works really hard in training, is getting stronger and fitter, and has a very good attitude.

‘It is pretty tough when you don’t play from one month to the next, it’s hard to get into a rhythm.

‘Alfie does say he feels very strong and very sharp, though, and is looking forward to playing’.

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