Jack Whatmough set for Pompey return

Pompey defender Jack Whatmough

Pompey defender Jack Whatmough

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JACK WHATMOUGH is expected to make his Pompey return at Hartlepool.

However, Paul Jones has been ruled out of the club’s play-off campaign.

Whatmough has not been selected for a Blues squad since damaging cruciate knee ligaments against Cheltenham in March 2015.

Yet he is set to feature on the bench for Paul Cook’s side at Victoria Park tomorrow.

The teenager has recovered from the minor back problem which kept him out of the reckoning at AFC Wimbledon.

In his absence, Adam Barton deputised in a central defensive area also shorn of Adam Webster and Matt Clarke through injury.

Following that 1-0 Kingsmeadow victory, Cook will retain the partnership with Christian Burgess against Hartlepool.

Yet Whatmough’s presence represents a significant step for the Gosport youngster who has battled his way back to fitness.

It’s not encouraging news on Jones, however, who picked up a thigh injury during the first-half on Tuesday night.

As a result, Brian Murphy has been left as Pompey’s only fit goalkeeper.

Jones had claimed his first-team place back last month after being recalled from a loan spell at Crawley.

Now he joins Ryan Fulton (thigh) and Alex Bass (knee) on the sidelines, leaving the Blues short of a back-up keeper tomorrow.

An alternative would be to call up Academy stopper Nick Hall, while Darryl Flahavan continues to train with the club.

Conor Chaplin is available following a groin problem, although Clarke (groin) and Kyle Bennett (ankle) are highly doubtful.

Definitely out are Marc McNulty (hamstring), Webster (ankle) and Conor Wilkinson (groin).