Ex-Derby County midfielder makes Portsmouth admission after Wigan Athletic promotion

Tom Naylor is adamant he did all he could to take Pompey to the Championship before winning promotion with Wigan last season.

By Sam Cox
Saturday, 21st May 2022, 11:37 am
Updated Saturday, 21st May 2022, 11:37 am

And he explained how he believed no one deserved the title success more than Latics teammate, and former Blues partner, Jack Whatmough.

During their time on the south coast the ex-Burton man and the defender featured in two failed play-off campaigns, before missing out on the top-six in 2021 – after the 2-0 defeat Accrington.

The pair then left Danny Cowley’s side for free shortly after during his Fratton re-build – although the current head coach has stated he wanted to maintain the duo’s services.

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Since then, they became instrumental members of Leam Richardson’s side by playing a combined 89 league games between them.

And the ex-Derby man and former skipper revealed the success he encountered was grander with Whatmough by his side.

Naylor told Wigan Today: ‘I said to Jack before the Shrewsbury game: “Right, let's go and do this, we both deserve it”.

‘We gave everything to make it happen the previous two years at Portsmouth, and unfortunately it wasn't enough.

Former Pompey duo Tom Naylor and Jack Whatmough won League One promotion with Wigan last term. Picture: Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

‘But it's great to be able to do it alongside Jack, he deserves it more than anyone, he's a great lad.’

With his contract expiring last summer, Naylor had a number of offers on the table from interested suitors.

One of those clubs included his hometown club of Mansfield in League Two – where he came through the ranks as a youngster.

He made 22 appearances for Nigel Clough’s side before a move to Pride Park came to fruition in 2011.

But the ambition of the 2013 FA Cup winners and the chance of a move back north, convinced him to choose the Latics.

And he explained how his decision turned out to be the the best of his career.

He added: ‘This is why I chose Wigan, I could see the ambition of the club, and where they wanted to go.

‘It's the best decision I've ever made, and myself, my family and my team-mates,

‘It was a good night to be fair (after sealing the title).

‘I spent all night standing next to the DJ, helping him mix the tunes up, and it was great to be able to mingle with the fans.

‘Obviously they've been with us through the bad times and good, and it was nice to share that with them.

‘We're all over the moon.’