Portsmouth boss tackles prospect of whether to give Jack Whatmough extended run in side

Kenny Jackett will consider an extended run in the side for Jack Whatmough as he accelerates his return to full fitness.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 7:47 am

The Pompey boss would like to see the homegrown talent continue in his starting XI and build an understanding with Sean Raggett at the back.

But he admitted he has to balance that desire with managing his first full season back in the fray after his latest knee injury.

Whatmough shone in an otherwise disappointing 0-0 opening-day draw with Shrewsbury, as he produced a man-of-the-match performance.

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Jackett indicated he will discuss the way forward for the 24-year-old before plotting the way forward through a busy opening to the campaign.

He said: ‘Jack’s had his injury problems, which everyone knows, but he’s a good player and he’s had a good pre-season.

‘For him to go in last week and play like that, none of us are surprised.

‘We do everything we can to build on that performance and a very successful pre-season for him.

Jack Whatmough

‘It’s a different week for us this week - Thursday and Sunday.

‘We’ll take that with winning in the cup, because we’ve got a game on TV against a Premier League side on Thursday night.

‘Then Rochdale away will come very quickly, but that’s okay. We’d rather have that and progress in the cups.

‘In terms of the team selection for this particular week, I think I’ll see how the players are.

‘I’ll speak to one or two and maybe Jack’s in that case, because it would be nice for them to build up some confidence and rhythm.

‘That would be good, but we are quite fortunate in terms of the squad in some areas and positions we have like for like the side can sustain and be able to keep going.’

Whatmough’s re-emergence has consigned Paul Downing to a place in the stands, as the Gosport lad’s impressed over the past two games.

Jackett liked what he saw of the choice he went with in the middle of defence against Colchester in the EFL Trophy last week, prompting him to continue with the duo in the league curtain-raiser

The Pompey boss explained he liked the academy graduates’s ability to play from the back on top of his defensive attributes.

He added: ‘I felt Tuesday him and Sean produced a good performance in the EFl Trophy and it was worthy trying them on Saturday, because I wanted to follow it through.

‘Overall, I’ve been pleased with his pre-season, it’s been a good one, and he deserves his place.

‘He has that ability to play, and we saw on Tuesday night when he played Marcus (Harness) through he’s got some selection on his right foot.

‘For both of those guys (at the back) it’s a good performance to build on with the clean sheets, because the defensive partnership is a good one.’

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