Kenny Jackett details targets for Jack Whatmough as Portsmouth defender gets set for playing return at Plymouth

Jack Whatmough has been backed to hit the ground running as he prepares for his Pompey return.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 8:00 am

Kenny Jackett feels the defender can benefit from undergoing an ‘extended pre-season’ during the campaign as he gets set for his comeback at Plymouth today.

Whatmough aims to put 11 months out with the knee problem firmly behind him at Home Park in the Central League Cup.

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Jackett preferred Whatmough to Paul Downing, who was omitted from the squad after a mid-week EFL Trophy start at Walsall.

After a long rehabilitation and now being back in full training since November, the Pompey boss views the Gosport lad as firmly one of his options again.

Jackett said: ‘He’s had long enough now. He’s been training since November.

‘He’s had quite an extended pre-season period really.

Jack Whatmough. PinPep Media / Joe Pepler

‘He’ll play at Plymouth in the under-23s game but to all effects now he’s fit and available. That’s good to see.’

With Whatmough fit, Jackett will be able call on the academy graduate as well as first-choice pair Sean Raggett and Christian Burgess along with out-of-favour summer signing Paul Downing.

The likes of Ross McCrorie and Tom Naylor also offer the Pompey boss flexible options at the back.

Jackett welcomed the Whatmough’s return and made it clear his immediate challenge now will be to displace his current preferred options in the middle of defence.

He added: ‘It’ll be great to have a fully fit and on-form Jack Whatmough.

‘I’ve been pleased with the two centre-backs we’ve got. I’ve got no doubt about them.

‘But Jack being on the shoulder of both of them will help us.’