Whittingham relishing blooding Sutherland

It was a parting recommendation from Luke Dowling.

Thursday, 17th January 2013, 7:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:57 pm

Now Guy Whittingham is itching to unleash latest arrival Frankie Sutherland in his first team.

Head of recruitment Dowling, who quit Pompey to join Blackburn yesterday, was the driving force behind the Republic of Ireland under-19 international linking up with the Blues on a one-month loan.

The midfielder goes straight into Whittingham’s 14-man squad preparing to face Scunthorpe tomorrow.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sutherland yesterday joined in training with his new team-mates for the first time, while Dowling bid his goodbyes.

Whittingham also previously watched Sutherland as he weighed up a swoop for the 19-year-old, a QPR team-mate of former Blues youngster Sam Magri.

And is confident he can make an impact with Pompey.

The caretaker boss said: ‘It was Luke Dowling more than anybody responsible for bringing him (Sutherland) here.

‘He had seen Frankie play a few times and has been told by quite a few people about what he was like as a character as well as a player.

‘I only watched him the once but you can see quite early on he is somebody with a good understanding of the game.

‘He trained with us yesterday morning and his vision is good. He’s got good movement

‘He’s got lots of energy and that is what you need, somebody who can run and run and run. With that he has a good technique and seems to have a good brain.

‘Frankie is more of a central midfielder, he can play wide but the middle is his best position.

‘With the squad size we need people that are flexible as well. There’s no point bringing in players if they are only going to play in one position.

‘The lad is one of those who now needs to go out and find that experience of what winning and losing means in a first-team environment and knowing how to prepare properly for games.

‘I am not saying he didn’t at QPR, but he is now in a team where three points really matter.

‘He has got nothing to lose. He’s at a good club in QPR with Harry (Redknapp) being there and he got a chance to come and play first-team football here.’

For Sutherland, it will be a maiden opportunity for first-team football as he continues his progression.

He will spend the next month on loan at Fratton Park, with the option to extend that if desired.

The Irishman enters a threadbare Pompey squad already containing four teenagers and two goalkeepers.

But he will get his opportunity to prove his worth in League One during his time on the south coast.

What’s more, he may yet find himself part of Pompey’s future should he impress during his loan spell.

Whittingham added: ‘He is a 19-year-old kid, he is not the finished article.

‘We are having him here to give him that chance to be involved in a first-team environment where he can get some games and learn from the experience.

‘Also, part of the reason is because we are for the future so who knows? I know he’s a QPR player and they think a lot of him but they might be able to do something next season with him.

‘He is going to be going into a first team in a shop window for other clubs to look at him.’