Hawks boss Paul Doswell has revealed the reason behind on-loan defender Matt Casey’s early return to Pompey.
And the Blues defender started for the Hawks in their 2-1 FA Cup victory over Taunton Town and 4-1 league triumph against Wealdstone last month.
However, Doswell has now taken the decision to cut short the defender’s loan stay with Havant.
The Hawks boss has both central defenders Dean Beckwith and Simon Walton back to full fitness, while they also signed versatile Craig Robson last week.
Given he now has a full compliment on centre-halves to choose from, Doswell felt it would have been ‘unfair’ to keep Casey at the club when minutes may have been hard to come by.
‘The reason for returning Matt to Portsmouth is that defenders Dean Beckwith and Simon Walton are both back fit again,’ Doswell said.
‘Also, we have signed Craig Robson which gives us a full compliment of centre-halves again.
‘It would have been unfair to keep Matt here when clearly I am going to play my contracted players.
‘Matt played a couple of games for us and I thought he did okay.
‘It is very difficult when you are coming in and hadn't played for seven weeks.
‘That was tough for him.
‘In his first game he lasted about 70 minutes and then he said to me that his legs started to go.
‘He did well against Taunton but last week against Wealdstone he found himself up against a real experienced ex-Football League player in Ross Lafayette.
‘There he probably found the going a bit tougher.
‘But that is what you go out on loan for in order to get those experiences.
‘He is going straight back to play for Portsmouth under-23s.’
Although Casey’s loan stay was a brief one, Doswell felt it was beneficial when the Hawks were down to the ‘bare bones’.
And the Havant boss is hopeful the Pompey defender can go on to have a good career.
He added: ‘Hopefully he will grow into his body, get stronger and hopefully become a good centre-half.
‘Our league is a tough one and one where you have to be physically strong enough to play in.
‘Matt has grown a lot in the last year and is now six foot eight.
‘His body needs to grow into that physique and become stronger.
‘From our point of view, it was a very useful loan because we were down to the bare bones.’