'Assured and comfortable' - how Jack Whatmough fared on his Portsmouth return at Plymouth
Jack Whatmough looked ‘assured and comfortable’ on his Pompey injury return.
Liam Daish was impressed as the centre-back stepped up his comeback in the reserves’ Central League Cup draw at Plymouth.
Whatmough made his first appearances for almost a year, after suffering knee cartilage damage against Doncaster last February.
He was named captain and completed a full 90 minutes as the Blues were held to a 1-1 draw at Home Park.
The Gopsort lad's outing came on the back of being an unused substitute in Kenny Jackett's side’s 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
And Daish heaped praised on Whatmough’s display against Argyle.
Pompey’s professional development phase coach said: ‘It was a good test for Jack because Plymouth were decent and he was playing in a young team.
‘He came through it unscathed, touch wood, and he looked very assured and comfortable.
‘His fitness levels look good. How he reacts tomorrow might be different but on first showing, it’s a big plus.
‘Jack played the full game. The plan was that he was ready to play 90 minutes and he completed it.
‘His movement looked good. He had a bit of defending to do in the first half and he coped with it well.
‘It was great to see him organising people around him. It’s been a long haul for Jack but fair play to him, he’s kept his fitness levels and is a natural defender.
‘If you're a natural defender then you’ll slot back in a lot easier than those who maybe don't enjoy defending as much.’
In blustery conditions, Argyle dominated the first half but took just a one-goal lead into the interval.
With the wind behind them in the second period, Pompey were on the front foot and January signing Reeco Hackett-Fairchild equalised in the 59th minute.
The visitors continued to push for a winner but home keeper Mike Cooper made several fine saves.
Daish added: ‘In the first half, we defended well in horrendous conditions against the wind and rain.
‘To be fair, their goal was a good goal. When they had a bit of defending to do, we totally dominated and the only thing lacking was more goals.
‘We could have had three or four but I was pleased. There were some really good individual performances.
‘Their goalkeeper was excellent and that probably says a lot about our performance.’