Anton Walkes: I know I've got a lot to learn but I'm up for a scrap and will put body on line for Portsmouth
Anton Walkes is relishing being Pompey’s dog of war in the middle of the park.
And the Blues’ utility man is open to continuing his football education as a defensive midfielder at Fratton Park.
Walkes has started the past two games alongside Ben Close as Kenny Jackett’s men continued their fast-improving form with two wins.
The 22-year-old produced a physical showing in Tuesday’s impressive 3-2 win over Rotherham at Fratton Park, with Tom Naylor still sidelined.
And he’s more than willing to deliver more of the no-nonsense stuff and get stuck in for his team moving forward.
Wakes said: ‘I’m self-critical. There’s things I need to improve on and I’m aware of that.
‘But I will always give 110 per cent when I put on the shirt and play for Portsmouth. That’s always how it will be.
‘I’ve got loads of experience there, but it’s not in men’s football.
‘I had a bit here when I was on loan, but that was definitely men’s football against Rotherham - and I loved it.
‘We’ve got some nice quality and maybe you need someone in there to do the physical stuff.
‘To be fair, Nayls (Naylor) is like that and he’ll throw his body on the line.
‘That’s what I’m into. I’m up for a scrap.
‘These teams are coming here and trying to put points on the board. They won’t do that easily when I’m there.
‘I absolutely want more of those battles. If the opportunity’s there I’m 110 per cent willing to put my body on the line.’
Walkes has found regular playing time hard to come by this term, starting three league games before the win at Spotland.
Jackett has indicated he now sees the man who spent time on loan with Atlanta United in the MLS as a midfielder in the future, and not as the right-back he arrived as from Spurs last year..
Walkes is totally on board with that idea and is presenting a mature attitude to making the developments he’s fully aware he needs to.
He added: ‘I don’t mind it (playing midfield) I think I’ve still got a lot to learn there - and I’m open to it.
‘If I want to be in the team consistently there’s things I need to improve on.
‘I can see the possibility of playing there, though, because I felt comfortable in that position against Rotherham.
‘I’m still fairly young and I can get around the pitch. That’s what it’s all about.
‘I’m learning. I’m never someone who will take criticism and throw it to the side. I will always take it on the chin.
‘I want to take in as much information as I can and that’s how I am.’