Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett has claimed that Anton Walkes could be in line for a run in the side after replacing the injured Tom Naylor during their FA Cup clash with Harrogate Town on Monday.
Portsmouth came from behind to seal a narrow 2-1 victory over the non-league side, but they were made to do it without Naylor who was forced off with a hamstring injury during the first half of the clash.
The 28-year-old had not missed a minute of action for Portsmouth this season before his forced departure on Monday night, but the south-coast side may need to prepare for the ex-Burton Albion man’s absence in coming matches.
Speaking to the Portsmouth News, Jackett has now suggested that Walkes could possibly be in line to replace Naylor if he faces a spell on the sidelines, with the Pompey boss stating there is no reason why he could not now enjoy a consistent run in the side.
“I thought he did a good job. He is an athletic player, a good competitor and a versatile player, who can play a few roles,” he said.
“My choices were Anton or Andy Cannon and I thought, physically, we needed a replacement for Tom in front of the back four to screen the long balls coming in. There’s no reason why he can’t now play there regularly.”
Reporter Neil Allen then took to Twitter to share Jackett’s comments.
— Neil Allen (@pn_neil_allen) November 13, 2019
Should Walkes replace Naylor in the Portsmouth side?
Plenty of Pompey supporters responded to this development with confusion at Jackett’s rationale, while others claimed Andy Cannon should be the player in line for a starting spot instead of Walkes.
Here are some of the responses…
What exactly has Andy Cannon done to upset Jackett?
— Anthony Hesse (@PropPersonnel) November 13, 2019
I've got a better idea,il bring my boots down,can't be any worse and I'm in my 50'
— Darren Troughton (@TroughtonDarren) November 13, 2019
I do believe Walkes has ability and who knows, given time could flourish is the Holding Mid pos but you have to ask how does a ‘5th choice’ right back become a ‘1st choice’ replacement for Naylor?
— pompeycarlo (@carlofooty) November 13, 2019
That should guarantee League 1 football next season then… Surprised we haven't recalled Adam May to reunite the dream duo with Close…
— Russell Giles (@RussellGiles11) November 13, 2019
What!!! He was shocking
— Phil Hayman (@philhayman2) November 13, 2019
Not convinced as didn’t seem to do anything on Monday, let’s hope I’m wrong
— Anne Simmons (@annesimmons111) November 13, 2019
😂 what a joke
— Harry (@harry_poole) November 13, 2019